Actress Cherry Jones — Tony-winner, and the President on 24 — told the crowd at a recent Women for Bloomberg rally at the Hammerstein Ballroom that “Mayor Bloomberg deserves not only to be reelected mayor of New York City, he deserves an astounding mandate, because the mayor, and those who oppose his policies, need to know that the city stands squarely behind him.”
This gets Azi Paybarah wondering if Bloomberg can “beat the spread” — that is, win big enough to claim the illusive “mandate” that, astounding or not, somehow makes elected leaders more powerful than their titles suggest…
Those Paybarah quizzes set the bar at various levels. “I think he’s going to win by more like 30,” gushes one supporter. But Councilmember Peter F. Vallone, Jr., one of several Democratic Bloomberg supporters, thinks “any non-Democrat who wins in New York City can pretty much claim a mandate,” which position the Mayor seems to share.
Readers may recall that George Bush claimed a mandate even after just squeaking through in the 2004 Presidential election. As there is no non-partisan board to set acceptable electoral levels for a mandate, its achievement is a matter of perception. And as we already know the Mayor feels comfortable doing whatever he wants — even when prohibited by referenda demanding term limits — what’s a few points, or a few dozen points, going to mean either way?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 28, 2009