Source: Bloomberg Research Effort Assessing Presidential Bid

NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a research effort to assess his chances in a potential bid for the presidency, a source close to the mayor told CNN.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said repeatedly he is not a candidate for president.

The source said data is being gathered but that the mayor -- who has been widely speculated as being interested in running for the White House as an independent -- has not yet begun analyzing that data, the source said.

The source, who is intimately familiar with the mayor's deliberations, said Bloomberg has set early March as a timetable for making a decision.

Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected to the mayor's office as a Republican, joined a panel of moderate current and former lawmakers earlier this week at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

The group, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, called for a return to bipartisanship in government.

"What has changed is that people have stopped working together," Bloomberg said at the Monday gathering.

"Government is dysfunctional. There is no collaboration and congeniality. There is no working together and 'Let's do what's right for the country.' There is no accountability today ... no willingness to focus on big ideas."
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Bloomberg, 65, was elected mayor of New York in 2001, two months after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and re-elected in 2005.

A native of Medford, Massachusetts, with an MBA from Harvard Business School, Bloomberg made his fortune first working with Wall Street securities bank Salomon Brothers, then as founder of Bloomberg LP, a financial news and information service.

CNN's John King contributed to this report.


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