Thursday, June 05, 2008

Terms of Surrender

It's getting more uncertain whether Mike Bloomberg will go quietly when his term of office ends next year, Clearly infatuated with the public role, he's scouting around to see how he can continue to remain in the public eye-God's gift and all. As the NY Times reports this morning: "As his political team considers strategies that would allow him to remain in public life, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg acknowledged with rare candor on Wednesday that he was unsure about what to do next, and whether it would be as satisfying as being mayor. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg addressed his future on Wednesday at City Hall. He said he had no plans to run for governor. Associates of Mr. Bloomberg say that while he has not decided to run for governor or seek a way to serve a third term, he has not closed the door on either possibility."

Good grief, simply pack it in, will yah? It's not as if the city has been governed with the skill and grace of Solomon, even though the mayor's narcissism might lead him to believe so" “I plan to, I think, stay on in public service in some ways or other — I don’t know how,” the mayor said on Wednesday after a news conference at City Hall. “You know, I don’t see anything for me. ...” A wistful billionaire is a scary site to behold for all of those small businesses that have been ignored by the Bloomberg big planners,

The mayor's polling didn't give encouragement to the idea of overturning term limits, but gave some impetus to an Albany run: "The poll that Mr. Bloomberg commissioned found that although city voters largely approve of the job Mr. Bloomberg is doing as mayor, they are strongly opposed to doing away with term limits. The survey did find support for the idea of Mr. Bloomberg’s running for governor.

That didn't stop the NY Post from a euphoric rhetorical flourish in favor of overturning a term limits law that the paper has always supported: "Now it's reported that Mayor Mike is polling the possibility of doing away with term limits - which would at least theoretically open the way for him to seek a third term. To which we say: Go for it, Mike."

Now we agree with tthe Post's philosophical opposition to the idea of term limits, but unlike the paper, we don't think that repeal of the law for Bloomberg makes any sense whatsoever: "Profoundly undemocratic, term limits embody the elitist notion that New Yorkers are unqualified to choose their leaders all by themselves. They've been in effect since 1997, without improving the quality of city governance in any discernible way. And now they stand to deny New Yorkers the services of a gifted leader at a most inopportune time."

Our view is that while we are opposed to term limits philosophically, we'll make an exception in the case of Mayor Mike. As for the "gifted" moniker, well, he's not the gift that keeps on giving as far as we see his reign.

So, go in good health, we say. After all, the mayor's projected legacy was scuttled by all of those myopic Albany legislators, so why not grab your cudgel and head north. As the Times tells us: "But with his presidential prospects dead, a cabinet position remote and the moment when he will be forced from office looming, he has been revisiting that view, associates say. And as he has watched the State Legislature scuttle some of his dearest proposals, he has been casting about for a way to maintain his influence over public policy issues and projects important to his legacy."

How solipsistic of all of this! It's not as if Bloomberg's accomplishments are writ large over the city's landscape-even if they appear so to lackeys like Stu Loesser who are eager to maintain their government perks. So, as Gloria Gaynor sung many years ago: "Go on now, go walk out the door. Just turn around now 'cause you're not welcome anymore. Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye. Did you think I'd crumble, did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh, no, not I-I will survive." And so will the city. Mike Bloomberg's no saviour.