Monday, November 02, 2009

Baited and Switched

In this morning's NY Daily News, Mike Lupica makes the point that we have been making-ad nauseum-for the entire length of this political campaign-the one brought to you, and paid for, by Advertiser Bloomberg: "This is what Michael Bloomberg said in October 2008 at City Hall, one of the great purchases Bloomberg ever made.This is what he said in the Blue Room before he began to spend like the Yankees for a third term as mayor of New York, before he ran so many television and radio commercials that people of the city started to feel as if Bloomberg had moved in with them: "Today, our nation and our city face unprecedented challenges. As a businessman with expertise on Wall Street and finance, and as a mayor who has balanced budgets and delivered services, I can tell you the enormity of the challenges ahead ..."

And during the campaign itself? You heard bupkas about all of this indispensability during the doom and gloom ahead: "Bloomberg's message couldn't have been clearer at the time, as he began to explain why he - and his tame City Council - had to make the city's laws on term limits go away. The message was that only he, Michael Bloomberg, could save New York City from impending economic doom. Only that's not the campaign Bloomberg has run, the campaign that really started in the Blue Room in October '08, where a potential "meltdown" was his slick transition into talking about term limits. If that's been the real message of his campaign - sometimes you get the idea that the $85 million he's spent to get himself reelected produced 85 million hours of commercials - you tell me where."

The paucity of honesty from a potential three term incumbent who rigged new rules for himself is simply jaw dropping-and not one of the three editorial toadies who conspired with him in this leveraged buy-out had the decency to even call him out on the blatant sleight-of-hand. Of course they didn't, because doing so would have necessitated a looking in the mirror mea culpa of their own.

Now, after having spent more than any other human being to rent New Yorkers for a third time, he faces the task of demonstrating why it was that he was so irreplaceable. Our bet is that Bloomberg will try to re-write history on that point; and will flounder to tell us just what the hell he is doing as the city's economic fortunes decline.

This is what happens when you base a campaign like this on purely false premises-and pay tens of millions of dollars to generate a collective amnesia about the dishonest power grab. Lupica has the essence of this: "It just all started with a completely phony premise, that he had to do this for the good of all New Yorkers. Bloomberg got the city's economy moving, all right. Just with his own campaign. So it was all about money in the end. Just his, not yours."