"Mike" Bloomberg's announcement on Tuesday that he was ending his brief membership of the Republican Party has fuelled speculation that he will run as an independent in 2008.
He has reportedly earmarked $500m for the campaign, a fifth of his estimated wealth, greatly increasing the likelihood of the election campaigns spending over $1bn between them.
London's Daily Telegraph revealed in May that his special adviser Kevin Sheekey (who keeps insisting that Bloomberg isn't running) had three meetings with the New York Chairman of the Independence Party. Bloomberg's website was recently revamped as well, complete with Mike Updates and a red, white and blue colour scheme.
New York's 108th Mayor takes pride in his non-partisan approach, a badge that could appeal to a lot of Americans who are tired of polarised politics. Having previously been an independent and a Democrat he's now seen as a centrist in that he is fiscally conservative but socially liberal. As James Forsyth points out, a big worry for Democrats would be his pull in California and, of course, New York.
Of particular interest to this site would be his position on various foreign policy issues that he has been quite quiet about.
Comparisons are being drawn with when businessman and independent candidate Ross Perot secured Clinton's victory by getting 19% of the vote in 1992. Could Bloomberg save the Republicans in the same way? Or would it be better for him to keep his money for what aides say will really be his next career, a full-time philanthropist?