Obama has come out and endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor of NYC. Now New York City is heavily skewed Democrat, so it seems like a foregone conclusion that a Democrat will win this general election on November 3. We have two Democrat senators, a Democratic governor and only two out of 29 representatives are Republican. In fact we had the Democratic primary a couple of weeks ago and some winners of that primary have already started transitioning into their new offices without bothering to wait for the general election. But the Independent candidate, Mike Bloomberg, is proving a tough challenge, and Obama has gone out on a limb to support his pick for mayor.
Obviously this will be a test of how potent/impotent Obama’s influence is now that he has taken office and Americans have had a chance to see how he governs. New Yorkers reacted strongly when Obama tried to interject and tell Governor Patterson not to run for reelection. Obama seemed genuinely surprised at the reaction. I think he assumed his proclamation would carry more weight to be honest. He has sense backed off on his attack on Patterson, but is now getting involved in the mayoral race.
So do you think Obama will have any sway in an already heavily Democratic city? Or will New Yorkers reject Obama’s meddling and cause more egg on his face?
I imagine it is standard practise for the President to endorse Democratic representatives, but it still irritated me anyway, and in a positive sense as hopefully it will irritate the voters in New York as well. Besides which, there were plans that Obama and Michelle would have spent their wedding anniversary in New York, that never happened. Which I think was a goof for a marketing whizz like Obama. His presence could have made a much bolder statement. So I'm happy for that too, i.e. that he did not fly to New York, like he did to Denmark for the Olympics campaign. Maybe his heart is not in New York, and by implication also not behind Thomson. I get a sense of New Yorkers being clannish and that Obama's endorsement of Thomson having the opposite effect on them.
Actually I tend to agree with this point. But that begs the question, if he isn't behind the guy why make the endorsement? Is it purely party politics? If so, would he endorse anyone running on the Democratic ticket, regardless of performance and merit? If that's the case, what is the value of the endorsement? And also, then how could he then come out and say that Patterson, who is also of the same party, shouldn't run for reelection?
My Take on Bloomberg
Now I’m not a fan of Mike Bloomberg, who is running as an independent. He once was a Republican, but I feel he was really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Many of his policies favor bigger government and more intrusion into private lives, but out of the two I do think he’s the better choice. The city actually runs pretty well, and he has implemented some worthwhile services, like 311. But others are very intrusive and right out of the liberal/progressive playbook. Right now we’re facing a possible transit nightmare because the MTA union is demanding a 12% increase in the next three years, despite getting a big series of raises just a few years ago. Instead of fighting these union thugs who went on an illegal strike and basically held the city hostage as workers couldn’t get to their jobs and earn any money, Bloomberg gave in to these idiots and we had one of the highest rate hikes in history to pay for it. And now they want more and are threatening another illegal strike. Bloomberg may have ended up giving in to the MTA union in the end, but at least he negotiated and got them to back down from their outrageous initial demands. Thompson on the other hand, has made several promises to support the union’s demands even if it means more rate hikes and service cuts on the backs of workers in NYC.
On a positive note, he has real-world business sense and has been able to apply that commonsense to at least some of the city’s policies. Granted they end up getting mucked up due to the high concentration of liberals who have no clue what they are doing, but at least it comes from the right angle.
My Take on Thompson
But Bill Thompson seems like a shrill, out-of-touch Democrat who is more interested in winning and whining than really figuring out a way to effectively govern NYC. He was once the Comptroller here in NYC, and proved a disaster in that position. He was also in charge of the public school systems in the city and Bloomberg has just started to make headway in fixing all the problems Thompson created. I’ve also met him once (with a group of other people), and he definitely comes off as a big, smarmy knucklehead who really has no clue of what he’s doing. But given the attack against any conservatives, even conservatives in name only like Mike Bloomberg (hell-I’d say even anyone who is not a lefty), he stands a pretty good chance.
@jmi. Thanks for the awesome posting. Learned lots that I did not know before.
Real fine web of intrigue. Would hate to have Thomson having to do a learning curve from scratch. But if he does pitch his campaign in a very positive "can-do" way, it could possibly earn him a great number of votes. Who knows, he may have parties in New York (to the equivalent of the movie City Hall) who may sponsor him to get even with Bloomberg. Everything is possible, I doubt however that Obama's endorsement would feature heavily in this, may even be to the detriment of Thomson, although obviously Thomson would not think that, as he has posted this on his Website.