Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent nearly a year publicly toying with the idea of running for the top job in the White House before he finally said he wouldn't do it – a decision he says in an interview was based on his belief that an Independent candidate had no shot.
"There was never a time that I really thought it was possibly for a third-party candidate to win," Bloomberg said in an interview for a new biography with former New York Times columnist and metropolitan editor Joyce Purnick.
Well, what were you doing the entire time you were pretending to consider a run if you never thought you could win, Purnick asked the 67-year-old mayor at one point.
"What do you mean what was I doing?" the mayor responded, according to the Times. "Everybody says you would make a great president. You say, 'Thank you.' What do you say?"
Purnick is writing a book – "Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics" – to hit stands by the end of September. It's the first time such a thorough account of the mayor's life will be published and tracks his life from his middle-class upbringing in Boston to his ascent as founder of his mega financial media enterprise to his win in the election after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The 252-page manuscript offers rare insight into Bloomberg's life. It mentions his mother, Charlotte, probably gave birth to a stillborn child in 1944 – the same year Bloomberg's sister was born; that Mayor Mike wrote a paper in high school charging President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew in advance about the attacks on Pearl Harbor and allowed them to happen anyway; and that he gave a friend, Mary Jane Salt, a trust fund and a Park Avenue condo, according to the Times, which obtained an advanced copy.
The biography covers Bloomberg's political wins and defeats, his endeavors to improve the city public school system and his character, which Purnick writes is "distant," despite the mayor's "Zelig-like ability to fit in."