FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Maybe 2012 will be the year when a third-party candidate has a real shot at the White House.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/11/09/art.bloomberg.jpg caption="New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg"]
Maybe this time will be different.
It's still two years away, but some potential candidates are already making some noise, including our mayor here in New York, Michael Bloomberg.
The Republican-turned-independent is out with some colorful criticism of the incoming members of Congress.
During a trip to Hong Kong, China, Bloomberg said many of them "can't read" and probably don't have passports. He warned that we're about to start a trade war with China because "nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is."
Bloomberg added that the United States should stop blaming China and everybody else and take a look at ourselves. There's a thought.
Some suggest that if the Republicans nominate a far-right candidate - like Sarah Palin - in 2012, it could provide a perfect opening for a politician like Bloomberg to run for president.
It wouldn't hurt to have someone who knows a thing or two about the economy and business sitting in the Oval Office. Especially if the economy doesn't improve and we're still looking at high unemployment.
Of course there are always the same challenges for a third party - including getting on the ballot, raising money and generally trying to make yourself heard in a political system that's intentionally built to keep two parties in and keep everyone else out.
But if the voters are as fed up in 2012 as they are in 2010 - if they're as set on voting against the status quo - maybe, just maybe, we'll try something new.
Here’s my question to you: Who would you like to see run as a third party candidate in 2012?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I would give my full support to Michael Bloomberg. The man has balanced both liberal and conservative values while insuring New York City remains a cultural hub that is not soft on crime or swimming in deficit. With the divisions in the United States today maybe some balance wouldn't hurt.
Kevin in Alabama writes:
No, Jack, I went there in 1992 with Ross Perot and all that did was split the conservative vote. I do not want another chance at a Bill Clinton!
Iris in Los Angeles writes:
For crying out loud, Jack! No one wants to hear anything about 2012. The voters of this country need a break from the perpetual state of campaign that we are in. Please, just give it a rest until the first of the year.
A Bloomberg/Powell ticket. Game over. I'm a registered Democrat, by the way. I voted for my first Independent – Charlie Crist – ever in the last election.
It is sounding more and more like a viable idea. The right wingers are just plain crazy, the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Obama, whom I respect, has gone soft. The Democrats are wimps. If Bloomberg disavowed the conservative right, was pro-choice and kept the health care bill mostly intact he could be a winner.
Ed in New York writes:
New Jersey Governor Christie. So far, he has shown staunch independence in pursuit of doing the right thing.
Steve in California writes:
Absolutely, I would support a third party candidate as I think the rest of the country is ready for anyone who isn't Democrat or Republican. I don't believe a Tea Party candidate is the appropriate choice either. We need a good INDEPENDENT who would govern in the center and has some business experience, that person has not been found yet.
Cal in Ohio writes:
Ron Paul. Period.
As much as I think Michael Bloomberg would make a good president, I fear he and Obama would split the "readers with passports" vote, tossing the election choice to Home Shopping Network voters who think international travel is a trip to Disney's Small World.