The decathlon-like saga of New York City’s Olympic bid is over, at least for now: There’s already talk about reviving the bid for 2016 (although Deputy Mayor and chief Olympic cheerleader Dan Doctoroff says “New York must move on.”) If a 2016 bid does go forward, the IOC vote would again fall smack dab in the middle of a mayoral campaign, in the summer of 2009.
As for the current mayoral campaign, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Democratic rivals have differed in their enthusiasm about getting the games, and that will affect how they treat the defeat in Singapore.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, for one, had written to the IOC pledging to ensure that the necessary Olympic facilities get built if he’s elected mayor and if the city were selected as the host. Today, he pledged that, “The push for the 2016 Olympics begins today. And the right plan for 2016 puts Queens at the center from day 1. As I said over a year ago, Queens is the right place for an Olympic stadium.”
Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, on the other hand, has always been skeptical of the Olympic bid. His reaction to the IOC vote was a statement in which he said the real dreams of New Yorkers weren’t two weeks of judo, platform diving, and Greco-Roman wrestling, but “great schools, affordable housing, and jobs that pay a decent wage. Mike Bloomberg spent three years pursuing the Olympics, and failed to fight for the priorities of New Yorkers.”
For his part, the mayor says despite the loss to London, “From new parks to new pools, New Yorkers have already benefited from our bid for the 2012 Games.”
There’ll be a lot of tealeaf reading over the next few days on whether the IOC decision helps or hurts Bloomberg and/or his rivals. One thing to keep in mind is that there are 69 days left before the September 13th primary and more than four months until the November 8th general election. The race for mayor isn’t the 100-yard dash, after all.