Let’s recap: Mayor Bloomberg is coyly against term limits, and coyly seconded by most City Councilmembers; Mark Green and Bill Thompson are for limits, and Anthony Weiner open to a referendum that could end them; and Charlie Rangel just wants the issue to go away.
Now the New York Times says three Deputy Mayors — Edward Skyler, Patricia E. Harris and Kevin Sheekey — “have confided to associates” that they prefer to keep term limits, at least as far as their boss is concerned.
Their concern, the Times reports, is that Mayor Bloomberg, irresistibly lured by opportunity to a third term, might see his reign “tarnished” in overtime, as they allegedly believe Ed Koch’s was. (Koch, who denies he was tarnished, exactly — “people got tired of me” — advocates a third term for Bloomberg, whether out of enthusiasm or spite we can’t tell.)
Meanwhile Governor Paterson, a third-term supporter, muddies the waters a bit by telling the New York Post that Andrew Cuomo, of all people, would be the “instant favorite” if he ran for Mayor.
All this discussion is probably normalizing the idea of a third Bloomberg term, we think. We continue to talk about it as if it weren’t already proscribed by law, and then if the City Council, one busy day, decides to put a quick end to term limits — “It could be done,” one Councilman told the Times, “in 24 hours” — people might think it had not even been a law in the first place, but just another crazy good-government scheme.