Gov. Martin O'Malley Sunday obtained a blessing from an increasingly rare national political creature: A self-proclaimed moderate.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who most recently ran as an independent, is putting his name (and perhaps some portion of his billions) behind candidates across the country he views as centrist. Some of Bloomberg's picks nationally appear to be designed to break up the Tea Party as he's endorsed several candidates who are fending of threats from the right. Bloomberg started life as a Democrat, then switched to the GOP and now he's not officially in either camp.

The New York Times, which reported Sunday about Bloomberg's support for middle-of-the-road candidates, said the NYC mayor's picks include Meg Whitman, a Republican vying in California' s gubernatorial contest. Aside from O'Malley, Democrats Bloomberg supports include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat facing a tough Tea Party challenge from Sharron Angle in Nevada, the Times reported.

A news release from the O'Malley campaign said that Bloomberg picked O'Malley because of his "pro-business, results-oriented approach to governing." O'Malley's Team said that the NYC mayor is choosing candidates "with close ties to the business community" and "who know what it takes to get the economy back on track."

But The Times noted two other common policy positions held by many Bloomberg candidates: Like-minded views on guns and immigration. Bloomberg started Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which advocates for gun control measures. He also recently launched a coalition supporting immigration reform called Partnership for a New American Economy. That group was created in June and, among other issues, wants to put in place a process that would let undocumented immigrants acquire some type of legal status, according to an AP story.

It is worth noting that Bloomberg isn't the only New Yorker with an interest in Maryland politics: Former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is pals Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehlrich Jr. and campaigned for him 2006. Ehrlich frequently names Giuliani as a potential out-of-state political star who might come stump for him.

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