Four years ago we first compared Mike Bloomberg to John Lindsay-but we did so because both men represent a sanguine view about the putative benefits of big government. Yet, our comparison came with one caveat-that being the mayor's superior management skills: "It is becoming increasingly clear that Mike Bloomberg's philosophy of government is extremely close to that of the late John Lindsay. His response to the recent report released by the IBO underscores his view that the government that delivers the most "services" is the exemplar for good government. To his credit, the mayor is a much superior manager to JVL and is, of course operating in a political and fiscal climate that is much different from that of the mid-sixties."
Four years later, the recent CityTime scandal, and the inept handling of the Christmas snow storm, forces us to insist that the comparison with the patrician Lindsay has acquired a singular and remarkable symmetry. And, as if on cue, we have the reminiscences of 1969-the year John Lindsay not only got snowed in, but simultaneously lost his luster. It began with Senator Kruger's angry linkage: "...State Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) slammed the removal effort as a "colossal failure" that put "countless lives at risk." He compared the blizzard to the 1969 storm that nearly destroyed the career of Mayor John Lindsay. Bloomberg may have had that kind of political fallout in mind as he hastily scheduled photo ops in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens."
City Room followed with this report: "Many of our readers are still waiting for the plows to reach their area (and will continue to wait). Feeling trapped and abandoned, at least a few recalled the time when the city was caught with its plows up on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1969. That’s when a mere 15 inches of snow froze the streets for days. “This is reminiscent of Mayor Lindsay’s 1969 Queens debacle. Once again a mayor ignoring the boros,” said Nickie. “The difference is that Bloomberg isn’t running for mayor again so he has no great motivation to get us plowed out.”
A day later, the NY Daily News also follows suit: "beginning to look a lot like 1969 - and Mayor Bloomberg is starting to resemble the late Mayor John Lindsay. Survivors of the crippling '60s blizzard and Lindsay's memorably mishandled response say Bloomberg bungled this week's 20-inch snowfall, conjuring some ugly memories. "It's an honest comparison to 1969," said Richard Hellenbrecht, 62, of Bellerose, who griped that his neighborhood had yet to see a snowplow - and put the blame squarely on the three-term mayor."