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Bloomberg says he's no White House candidate

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday he was not a candidate for the 2008 U.S. presidential election despite having changed his political affiliation to independent from Republican. [!]
/ Source: Reuters

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday he was not a candidate for the 2008 U.S. presidential election despite having changed his political affiliation to independent from Republican.

A day after announcing the shift, Bloomberg said -- as he has before -- that he intended to serve as mayor until the end of his term in 2009.

“I think they are wasting their time. I am not a candidate,” Bloomberg, 65, told reporters when asked about his name being mentioned in presidential opinion polls.

“I have said that my intention is to be mayor for the next 925 days,” he said, insisting that remained his plan and he intended to pursue philanthropic interests when his term ended.

Bloomberg has failed to quell speculation about a possible presidential run.

He said on Tuesday he was dropping out of the Republican party to bring his affiliation into alignment with how he led the city.

Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of financial data and media firm Bloomberg LP, has governed on economic issues as a fiscal conservative but is more liberal on social issues such as gun control and gay marriage as well as the environment.

Bloomberg was a Democrat who became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001.

He was re-elected as a Republican in 2005 and is barred from seeking a third term in 2009.

Political experts say that while Bloomberg has the money, name recognition and experience, political conditions would have to be just right for him to get elected in November 2008.

He has crisscrossed the country, visiting 20 cities in the past 18 months, according to the New York Post. He traveled on Monday in California, giving speeches in San Francisco and Los Angeles.