To be clear, I think Bloomie is an idiot who doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of winning. However, it's fun to contemplate the chaos such a move could cause.
In the next couple of weeks, Michael R. Bloomberg will decide whether to launch an independent bid for the presidency. That's an enticing prospect, since the continuing strength of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders threatens to force a radical choice between two extremes. Nevertheless, before succumbing to centrist temptation, the former New York City mayor should take a hard look at the Constitution. He will find that his run for the White House could precipitate one of the worst constitutional crises in American history.If things get that far, and if the republicans retain control of the Senate, then they will no doubt select the republican candidate for VP - whoever that might be. But just for fun, imagine that the democrats win the Senate, that Bernie Sanders is their candidate, and that Elizabeth Warren is his running mate. That means our next president would be Elizabeth Warren.
The problem is the 12th Amendment. Enacted in 1804, it establishes the rules for presidential selection if no candidate secures a majority of 270 electoral votes — a distinct possibility should Bloomberg enter the race. The sphere of competition will then move from the states to the House of Representatives... Under the amendment's special rules, each state delegation casts a single vote, and the winning candidate must convince 26 delegations to support him. Even if Bloomberg carries a few key states in November, his fate will be determined by representatives from regions that rejected his candidacy. In addition, there are 11 states with only one or two House members — and their idiosyncratic views will have a disproportionate say in the final choice.
Worse yet, if a state's delegation is equally divided, it can't vote at all. This means that the process will degenerate into a free-for-all as rival candidates engage in desperate efforts to nudge one or another fence-sitter in their direction.
At this point, a final factor will make for more melodrama. If the House can't pick a chief executive by Jan. 20, the amendment provides an interim remedy. It says that the new vice president will become acting president while the political bargaining continues.
The three vice presidential nominees will be in the same position as their running mates — none will have gained a majority of the electoral college. Anticipating this eventuality, the authors of the 12th Amendment designed another system for resolving the vice presidential contest.
Under this secondary scheme, it's the Senate, not the House, that does the deciding, and a simple majority of senators suffices to make the choice. But the Senate can choose only between the top two, not the top three, candidates. As a consequence, Bloomberg's running mate might be barred from the competition from the start.
And you thought President Hillary Clinton would be bad. President Fuaxchahontas would be much worse.
Just to make matters more confusing, the Supreme Court would likely be split 4 - 4 on any election issues or challenges.
A highly unlikely turn of events, to be sure, but just think of all the exploding heads in D.C.
If that does happen, I'm on the next plane to Belize...