Mayor Bloomberg is getting the first critical coverage of his campaign the day after it ended.
“NYC mayor bruised by surprisingly close victory,” says AP. They also seem surprised that “Some voters expressed their discontent in the voting booth, even though they did not believe Bloomberg could lose.” Only in New York, kids!…
“The editorial/opinion side of New York media was in the tank,” post-mortems David Carr at the Times (being too kind by half, we think), “making their endorsements foregone and muting any ability to reflect the electorates growing discomfort with a mayor who felt the job was his for the taking.” He notes that Michael Barbaro said something similar in the paper before the election, though, since it was in the Times, the people who might have responded to it such a warning didn’t read it.
Our own Ward Harkavy, who was never in the tank, sees the less obvious reason for Bloomberg’s victory: his money and power had a force multiplier. “Bloomberg was able to buy off the major unions,” he writes today, “and they specifically helped him get out enough voters to the polls. Once again, the working class bails out a billionaire.”
Meanwhile Bloomberg’s fans at the Daily News are lowering expectations for him. “Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s third term needs balance,” says a clutch of analysts. It’s a pun, see, because there’s a budget crisis: Bloomberg “said he would not raise taxes to cover next year’s projected $4.9 billion deficit, which will force him to make unpopular budget cuts.” They line up public figures to say things like “This third term will not be a cakewalk,” etc. But it looked like fun in the campaign ads! Remember? We were all walkin’ down the street with Mayor Mike, and men in white shirts were reviewing blueprints with him. At least we thought those big pieces of paper were blueprints. Maybe they were lists of people to be laid off, or getaway plans.
The Post tries to tie the thin Bloomberg win to a “unifying force: Voters across America” who “are riled, discontented and worried… Though the White House tried to dismiss the results as meaningless, it’s impossible not to see what happened yesterday as a thumbs-down from voters on the Obama bigger-government agenda.” Look for the folks at the Post to stand forthrightly against any big-government tactics Bloomberg may try to employ, despite their previous compliance.
The paper is on surer ground with John Podhoretz, who advises, “the closer-than-expected race offers only one lesson for Mike Bloomberg: Don’t be a cheapskate. Next time you want to buy an office, spend $200 million.” Shock and awe! It never fails to impress.