As his behavior has shown, Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t like the press much, but when he finds friends among them he treats them right. The Irish Voice (no relation) has endorsed him enthusiastically, and the Bloomberg has
granted the paper an extraordinarily long interview in which the Mayor seems relaxed and downright chatty. Among the best bits:
• The Mayor is convinced his people love him. He recalls being booed at the Puerto Rican Day Parade his first year, but that was because “somebody hired some people to boo.” Today, he says, New York treats him like Bedford Falls treated George Bailey: “When I walk down the street or take the subway, this morning I just noticed a lot of people smiled, ‘Good morning Mayor, good morning.'”
• While people fixate on murders, says Bloomberg, they forget that New York has increased average life expectancy by 15 months since he’s been mayor. “The papers will write about somebody getting killed, one person, that’ll be the headline story,” he says.”But if you think about it, 15 months is 1 1/3 years times 8.4 people — that’s an enormous number of man years that you have.”
• He defends New York’s lax immigration policy (something we’re sure Irish Voice readers will be pleased to hear) on the grounds that undocumented workers “have very low (rates of) crime. Why? Because they don’t want to go near the government.” Also, because they do the jobs Americans won’t, and it’s unthinkable to pay Americans more so they’ll do them.: “Golf courses can’t survive if they have high-cost grass cutters.”
• Bloomberg naturally professes a great feeling for the Irish people — “They’re like Orthodox Jews, they have so many kids!” — and Ireland. Asked for his favorite memory of that country, he recalls “a six and a half hour dinner at Bono’s with Penelope Cruz sitting across the table from me… Bono’s a great guy.” Bloomberg also urges the resolution of Northern Irish conflicts because “Belfast is not going to be a business center if there’s no peace.”
• Despite the laudable diversity of the NYPD’s latest graduating class of cadets — “they were born in 58 different countries” — Bloomberg reveals that not a single one of them was Irish. B’jaysus!