On the way to an interview with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, I ran into one of the best-known Republican mavericks, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Hagel has figured in discussions of a potential independent candidacy by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this fall, as a potential running mate for Bloomberg.
But Hagel told me he believes that John McCain's emergence as the de facto Republican presidential nominee essentially closes the window of opportunity for Bloomberg to mount a viable candidacy.
That's because McCain's appeal to independents overlaps too heavily with the independents that Bloomberg might draw. That doesn't mean Bloomberg couldn't yet decide to lavish a few hundred million dollars on a candidacy, but it means his chances of succeeding have been dramatically reduced.
Though Hagel backed John McCain against George W. Bush in Republican primaries, he isn't endorsing McCain now. But it appears a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket is not in the cards.
Video clip is of a discussion on what McCain's move toward the GOP nomination will mean for business.