Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Sun Sets on the Next Four Years

In yesterday's NY Sun, the paper has an interesting editorial musing on the mayor's second term (assuming he doesn't make a move for the statehouse). The editorial urges the mayor to build on his mandate and pursue a number of "big ideas."

In particular, the more conservative Sun pushes Mayor Mike to tackle the "uncontrollables," those fiscal big ticket items such as pension reform that mayors in the past have described as out of their control because they are controlled by the state legislature. But why can't they be taken on, asks the Sun? Wasn't crime once seen as an untouchable until Rudy went to war on the issue?

At this point, however, the paper falters by saying, "The mayor has taken on Albany before--and won." In referring to the mayoral takeover of the old Board of Ed the Sun totally goes overboard in seeing this policy sea change as largely Mayor Bloomberg's doing. It was Rudy who broke down this particular door and absent his vituperative battles with the educational bureaucracy Mayor Mike wouldn't have gotten to first base on this issue in Albany. The open question is whether he can do this on any issue.

The Sun is right in pointing out that, aside from changing the charter school limits, there is nothing to suggest that Bloomberg will rise to the paper's "big ideas" challenge. Mike doesn't break down doors he walks smoothly through them once others have fought passionately to change public perceptions.