Will Bloomberg Run for President?

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's potential independent bid for president depends largely on whether the major party candidates embrace the political center, according to Democrats and Republicans who met with the mayor in Oklahoma.

The bipartisan gathering yesterday attracted former senators, one-time governors and a current lawmaker. But the main draw for the media, students and political junkies at the University of Oklahoma was Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who changed party affiliation last summer from Republican to independent.

One leader of the summit, former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia, said the chances of a third-party bid have been dramatically altered by Democrat Barack Obama's victory in Iowa and his embrace of bipartisan unity, combined with other candidates' moves toward the center.

Nunn said after the forum that changes "the calculation anybody would make in terms of whether they were going to run.''


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