Bloomberg shows that he might be a good mayor after all

Contrary to fears and trepidations, Mike Bloomberg's first day as Mayor-elect showed that he might turn out to be a good mayor.

Bloomberg started the day with breakfast with Fernando Ferrer, the turn-coat Democrat who gave Bloomberg his narrow margin of victory by failing to support Mark Green after losing to him in the primary run-off. Bloomberg and Ferrer met in a sleazy deli near the Bronx County Courthouse. What is significant is that Mike did not start the day with a private meeting with Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

According to The New York Times, it became apparent during the day that Bloomberg will not automatically re-appoint the Giuliani team to their present positions. Indeed, Giuliani himself cannot be sure of being offered a job in the Bloomberg administration.

Actually, we know nothing about Bloomberg. He was a Democrat until deciding to run for election as a Republican. During the campaign, the only thing Bloomberg said was that he would continue the policies of Rudy Giuliani. He never said what those policies were. Bloomberg never took a concrete position on any issue.

I was a volunteer who worked in the Bloomberg campaign. I got to meet Mike many times. I spoke to him briefly and I suspect that he remembers me. (Nobody ever forgets Sam Sloan.)

Each time he spoke, Mike had the same message: "All of us agree that we are better off than we were eight years ago, and I will continue the policies of Mayor Rudy Giuliani".

I considered going up to Mike Bloomberg and offering my advice, which would have been that instead of saying that he would follow the policies of Mayor Giuliani, he should outline what his policies would be, in detail. Finally, I decided to keep my opinions to myself, because Mike is a big boy and this was obviously the strategy he had decided to follow.

This strategy was a wild gamble and should not have succeeded and would not have succeeded had it not been for the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Prior to the attack on the World Trade Center, less than 28% of New Yorkers approved of Mayor Giuliani. After the attack, his approval rating skyrocketed.

Rudy Giuliani must have believed that Bloomberg would keep his promise to let Rudy remain in office after his term expired. However, it is now apparent that this will not happen. After all, why would Mike Bloomberg spend $40 million of his own money, just to let Mayor Giuliani stay in power?

Rudy Giuliani had no choice but to back Bloomberg. Giuliani knew that if Mark Green was elected, either Giuliani would have to flee the country or else go to prison. This is the reason why Bloomberg might feel that he owes more of a debt to Fernando Ferrer but not to Rudy Giuliani.

Yesterday, Bloomberg said that when it comes to making appointments, "I will certainly talk to [Rudy Giuliani] about it. I can tell you this, I wouldn't be comfortable in us selecting anybody without his advice as to who should do it."

However, just because Mike would ask Rudy's advice does not mean that he will follow it.

New York is allergic to politicians who claim to not be politicians, especially since Mayor Giuliani made that claim and turned out to be the most political mayor since Jimmy Walker. The modus operandi of Mayor Giuliani was to reward his friends and attack and punish his political enemies. Rudy filled his commissions with political hacks who had no qualifications other than their loyalty to Mayor Giuliani.

Now, there is every reason to hope that Rudy's Gang will be swept into the dustbin of history and Mike Bloomberg will bring in his own men instead.

Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg should appoint one of his campaign workers, Sam Sloan, to be Taxi and Limousine Commissioner. I am certainly qualified and know more about the taxi industry, whereas the current taxi commissioners only know how to hail a cab on the street.

Sam Sloan

On 08 Nov 2001 21:45:36 -0800, Paul Rubin wrote:

>As I remember, Bloomberg and Green were both willing to approve >Giuliani's illegal scheme for staying in office an extra 3 months >after his term expired. It was Ferrer who squelched that plan. >Ferrer however said he'd be willing to hire Giuliani to run the city's >WTC cleanup activities. >

Right. As soon as Ferrer was the only candidate who would not agree to an extension of Rudy's term of office, I along with many other New Yorkers suddenly became big supporters of Ferrer, even though I knew nothing else about him.

However, Ferrer messed up big time when he started hinting that he would make Al Sharpton Police Commissioner. Ferrer would have been mayor had he not made some incredibly stupid remarks like that.

Becauase of Ferrer's idiocy, white voters deserted him in droves and he lost the run-off in spite of having finished well ahead of Green in the primary.

Then, Ferrer and Sharpton decided to tacitly back Bloomberg because they said that Ferrer had lost to Green because of racist attacks, attacks which I never heard and I doubt that many other New Yorkers heard either.

Rather than blame the loss of the election on his own screw-ups, Ferrer blamed racism. I doubt that Ferrer will be considered a serious candidate in the future.

All of these factors, of course, combined to enable Bloomberg to come from 42% behind in the polls three weeks ago to be elected Mayor three days ago. This must be the biggest come-from-behind victory in political history.

Of course, the fact that Bloomberg spent more than $10 million on last minute TV ads on election day and the day before it and every five minutes another Bloomberg ad came on TV had nothing to do with it.

Sam Sloan

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