As mayor and billionaire, Mike Bloomberg never has to apologize for anything. So it’s no surprise that his sudden announcement in today’s Times that he’s really not running for President lacked contrition of any sort.
But he owes us one.
For two years he carried on this ceaseless peekaboo with reporters and the public about his presidential ambitions. “No, I’m not,” he said over and over. “Yes he is,” whispered his deputies.
Only yesterday, even as his no-go op-ed piece was being distributed around City Hall, there came another of those endless emails, “Your MikeBloomberg.com Alert” as they’re dubbed, this one about a new report on illegal guns.
Guns are bad for the city’s health, a point Bloomberg has eloquently made (even as he’s funded pro-gun Republicans in Albany), so there was no reason why this missive couldn’t have been distributed as one more mayoral message from his City Hall office.
But that might have meant it couldn’t go to that long list of Bloomy fans around the country, whose support he has been courting since 2005. And since he’s been more interested in how these things play in Cedar Rapids than in the South Bronx, he’s needed that national platform.
New Yorkers re-elected Bloomberg because he was a competent, no-frills leader they’d come to trust. Instead they got a grandstander who spent more time looking at the polls than the management reports.
We mocked Bloomberg’s presidential flirtation earlier this year (President Bloomberg? Voice January 1, 2008). But today we yield to the dean of City Hall reporters, the Post‘s David Seifman, whose “Shameful shadow campaign deceived the voters,” says it all. “Who did he think he was kidding?” writes Seifman.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 28, 2008