Bloomberg on Push Polling: It Ain't Me Babe

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The rest of us may think it's shaping up as a Bloomberg blowout, but here's a good example of exactly how insecure and nervous Mayor Mike remains about his reelection:

The first reporter to pop the question to Bloomberg yesterday about his campaign's negative telephone polling push on possible opponent Rep. Anthony Weiner was the always polite and mild-mannered Stan Brooks of 1010 WINS. A City Hall vet who has been reporting for 45 years, Brooks raised his mic yesterday at an event in Jamaica to ask Bloomberg about the calls. "There are allegations that  your campaign was doing 'push-polling,' criticizing Congressman Weiner," said Brooks.

As reported by the Times' Fernanda Santos, Bloomberg fired back like he was taking incoming fire from the likes of The Village Voice: "Is that a statement or a question?" he snapped.

"A question," responded Brooks.

Bloomberg then went on to dodge the issue, talking about his own campaign as though it's an independent entity. "We've always done positive things, and you'll have to talk to the campaign about what they do," he said.

This exchange came on the same day that those people at the mayor's campaign (whoever they are) revealed that they've been approved to spend $3 million of Bloomberg's money on his first round of TV ads. That's almost half the amount that candidates like Comptroller Bill Thompson are allowed to spend on their entire primary campaigns under city Campaign Finance Board rules.

Every candidate wants to win big, but the more Bloomberg turns what should be a walk-in-the-park reelection effort into something on the par of a new Normandy invasion, the more it looks like he still harbors much bigger political ambitions -- and they're not in Albany.

Bloomberg aides have already been heard talking about a possible new presidential bid should President Obama start faltering in the polls. As part of that prep work, Independence Party operatives say they're still working on the 50-state strategy they launched in 2007 when Bloomberg seriously considered a national race.

Which may be why the mayor and his team snap nasty these days at the slightest criticism on his hometown turf. Photo via nyc.gov.

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