Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bloomberg's Self-Promotion

We did a post yesterday on the NY Times story about the high anxiety being experienced by the permanent government about the mayor's forced departure next year. Now we have it on pretty good authority that it was the mayor's own folks who pitched the piece-hoping that it would focus, not on the yearning for Dick Parsons, which it did-but on the need to over turn term limits.

Which brings us to another take on all this from Choire Sicha (courtesy of Azi): "There's a remarkable piece of lobbying in the New York Times this morning—a bit of sophisticated propaganda from the forces (led by Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey) fighting the extremely negative public opinion about the possibility of a third term for New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. The headline is actually bizarre: While it reads "Titans Seek New York Mayor in Bloomberg's Mold," what it is actually about is convincing New Yorkers to repeal term limits on behalf of our current mayor."

Choire's right about the intent of the Bloombergistas, but the results don't uphold the effort; in fact, if this was their pitch, it was a real wild one indeed since the article does little, in our view, to push the third term ball down the field. But she's right to feel that we all should be on the alert for the effort by the mayor and his gold plated lackeys to perpetuate their own class interests:
"This article somehow brings together an entirely expected coalition of the "New York City Investment Fund"—that's what we call the former New York City Chamber of Commerce, which is responsible for funneling private money into the running of the City—as well as a select group of other clients of the publicist Howard Rubenstein, and a few random others, all banded together to pointedly express the (admittedly, true!) fact that there is no decent mayoral candidate for next year's election. This is the biggest, most sophisticated public-private partnership ever yet conceived! Congratulations to Mr. Sheekey."

What this does is underscore the extent to which special interests aren't simply those of labor or community groups, an idea that's dramatized in today's NY Sun's article about Bloomberg LLP and Merril Lynch, its minority stakeholder The idea that the most well heeled among us want to ward off the recrudescence of the bad old days of the special interests, is a theme that's best explored by the satirists at the Onion.