A new political organization is looking to give the political left and right a run for their money. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an Independent, is joining a number of other Independents, Democrats and Republicans in launching "No Labels," a group that hopes to solve some of the nation's largest problems with non-partisan solutions.
According to CNN, the No Labels group held its official kickoff event Monday in New York with a series of panel discussions on hot-button issues. The group's leaders and speakers all suggested finding common ground to help solve these issues without dividing the American public.
Besides Bloomberg, among those participating in the kick-off: Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia; Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut; Reps. Mike Castle, R-Delaware and Bob Inglis, R-South Carolina; former Republican congressman Tom Davis and Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who ran for Senate this year as an Independent.
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were also on hand, along with New York Times' David Brooks -- each taking a turn at the microphone as featured speakers.
"Parties have a place, but party loyalty, I don't think, should get in the way of doing what you as an elected official believes what's right. I think that's what most of the public wants," Bloomberg told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. The mayor's involvement in the "No Labels" group is also creating speculation that he's readying a 2012 Independent bid for president -- a scenario he says he has no intention of pursuing. "I'm not going to run for president, the job. I have a great job. I'm going to finish my 1,100 whatever number of days it is left go to, and I'll leave the politics to the experts."
The group's stated intention is to "create a space where ideas can be judged on the merits, not their conformity to pre-fabricated stereotypes. The point is not whether America moves left or right; it's whether we move forward. And that's what the majority of Americans are yearning for."
Despite the group's well-intentioned pitch, many pundits aren't biting. Salon's Dave Weigel called the "No Labels" launch a "post-partisan trojan horse for generic liberal politics." Likewise, the Christian Science Monitor suggests the "No Labels" group is a platform from which Bloomberg may announce a presidential bid.
What do you think? Does the "No Labels" message of anti-partisanship appeal to you?