Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mr. Indispensible

Mayor Mike appears to be milking the current fiscal mess for all it's worth. As the NY Times reports this morning, he's adopting the line of his acolytes that the current crisis needs a continuing firm hand-his:
"The mayor’s high visibility — and the near-collapse of two major New York City financial institutions — have stirred discussions among his advisers and outside analysts about whether the turmoil could strengthen the argument for Mr. Bloomberg to overturn the term limits law and serve four more years.Mr. Bloomberg, asked at a press conference Tuesday whether the Wall Street woes bolstered such a case, said he could see both sides. “There is an argument for experience,” he said. “There is an argument for change, and I think it’s purely a question of what you think the appropriate level of balance is.”

Is there any doubt where Bloomberg sees the balance lying? Councilman John Liu has another perspective: "A third term under those circumstances, they suggest, might be less than appealing — for Mr. Bloomberg and for voters. “As the economy goes south, so will his popularity ratings,” said City Councilman John C. Liu, a Democrat from Queens. “No one, not even this mayor, can control the economy.”

This is starting to shape up as a real political donnybrook; with the usual suspects puckering up in the usual ways: "Still, many of Mr. Bloomberg’s colleagues and associates see an opportunity in the current climate to make a case for a third term. “He is uniquely situated to understand this crisis and to cope with it,” said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy at New York University and a former Bloomberg adviser."

All of which should make the upcoming round table discussion of term limits at Baruch College all the more interesting, with Councilman Koppell headlining: "While we're waiting for the bill to be drafted, Koppell is scheduled to discuss term limits at an event hosted on Oct. 16 by Baruch College. Also scheduled to participate on the panel is Kenneth Moltner of New Yorkers for Term Limits; Richard Niemi, a Rochester University political science professor; and former city Corporation Counsel Frederick A.O. Schwartz. The event will be moderated by former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., who is lobbying in favor of getting term limits extended. (Fittingly, the forum is part of the Peter F. Vallone Sr. Seminars in Government Lecture Series)."