The Most Lucky Fella
I wonder how many watched this week's performances at the Financial Control Board and realized that Mayor Mike Bloomberg is The Most Lucky Fella.
Yes, I will give him some credit for having created the appearance that he has managed the City's finances with skill and precision. However, when you look behind the appearance, you have to recognize that this is a Mayor who truly lucked out.
The most obvious stroke of luck was the fact that he had the economy on his side for most of his term limited six years. It does not take a political scientist to recognize that a good economy and positive poll ratings go hand in hand. From this perspective he is no different than Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
His real stroke of luck, however, was not getting what he wished for. Can you imagine the tough straits the City would be in now had we actually won the rights to host the 2012 Olympics? Do you remember how this was the most important policy objective of the Mayor's first term?
Think of it. Had Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff had his way, the City would now be cutting the capital budgets of schools, housing, libraries, and other City services even further as it tried to meet its obligations to the Olympic Committee. Yes, the City would be spending billions on acquiring properties and building the required stadia in each of the five boroughs. The plans of CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch, and Chase stepping to the plate and providing millions for great sponsorship opportunities would undoubtedly be dashed. The taxpayers would have been left holding the bag.
So as I watched Governor Patterson, Comptroller DiNapoli and Comptroller Thompson fawn over the Mayor's financial prowess, I sat back and wondered what might have been had not Mike Bloomberg been the Most Lucky Fella.
The adage continues....better to be born lucky than smart. Let's hope our next Mayor is born under the same star.
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