Monday, November 9, 2009

Humbled Emperor Stumbles to Victory

After spending $100mm on his campaign, well over $200mm attempting to buy support through contributions to non-profits, and changing to City Charter to serve his personal political interests, Mayor Bloomberg won re-election by less than 5 percentage points.

Twelve Is Enough

Mayor Bloomberg was aggressive and dishonest in his campaign against Bill Thompson. His behavior is likely to lead to difficulties in governing for the Republican Mayor of a Democratic city (Bloomberg is not a registered Republican but paid the Republican Party to allow him to run as a Republican for a 3rd term after winning his first term as a registered Republican and his second term as an independent). His narrow victory will embolden his opponents and reduce the enthusiasm of his supporters, such as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

In the case of Quinn, her support for the Mayor and her support for the extension of term limits may make her return to the Speaker's chair uncertain. The City Council may need to choose new leadership to reflect the will of the voters as expressed last week.

Oddly, Bloomberg is already behaving as a more humble Emperor than we've seen since his first election in 2001. He requested a meeting with the newly elected Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, despite the fact that he has repeatedly called for the elimination of the position of Public Advocate. Bloomberg has also sought a meeting with newly elected Comptroller of the City of New York, but John Liu chose not to meet with the Mayor and to proclaim the New York City had no monarch.

Regrets and Anger

We find it unfortunate that the President of the United States refused to assist the candidacy of Bill Thompson. The first African American President of the United States worked very hard (but unsuccessfully) in the re-election bid of the Governors of New Jersey and the Virginia Governor's race. Both of those Democrats are white, and Thompson is African American. Yet, the African American candidate, who was unable to get the support of the leader of the Democratic Party, likely would have won the Mayor's race if he had been given that support. One wonders whether the President will be held accountable for his failures as leader of the Democratic Party and his particularly conspicuous anti-African American approach to Bill Thompson and New York Governor David Paterson - before he failed to work to elect Bill Thompson in NYC, the President demanded that David Paterson choose not to seek re-election as Governor of the State of New York.

Mayor Bloomberg was successful in preventing many traditional pieces of the Democratic Party (unions, African American clergy, etc.) from supporting Thompson. But, the voters were more supportive. Thompson won Brooklyn and the Bronx. Here at Manhattan Viewpoint, we are embarrassed to say that Manhattan's failure to hold the Mayor accountable for his failures as a leader led to his re-election.

Yankees Win Their 27th Title

The Yankees had spent one year outside of the post-season, six years out of the World Series, and nine years without a World Championship, but they captured their 27th title last week. For a franchise that has more championships than any professional sports team, the latest title seems long overdue and more appreciated than the late-1990's titles that seemed to arrive on schedule each October. The first Yankees title won in November left many of us wiping tears of joy and dreaming about how wonderful it would be to enjoy this same feeling again in 2010.

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