With the bad news this week for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg--his lowest approval rating in eight years at just 39 percent, the Mayor’s Spokesman Stu Loeser says quote:
“The mayor is making tough choices in a difficult time, which is what people elected him to do.”
Of course that is true, but at this point team Bloomberg should start worrying about the “L” word. That is what a third term was about, to begin with.
New York’s popular mayor is walking on thin ice with New Yorkers and needs to be careful, because if he is not, Bloomberg may very well hurt his Legacy.
The wrap on 3rd terms is quite obvious. One, no matter what you do, it reaches a point you wear out your welcome, but perhaps more important in Bloomberg’s case, is by the time a mayor reaches the 3rd term, their best people are often long gone.
The people that are experts at controlling the message, controlling mistakes, and making sure mistakes like the handling of the December snow storm never happen. Bloomberg’s Police Commissioner Ray Kelly remains very popular and was around from day 1 of this administration, but Bloomberg has lost other key officials that kept him on track.
Over the years, Bloomberg has been able to do a fairly decent job at beating back the tag of an “out of touch billionaire,” but if he’s not careful, in the end, he may play right back into it. For example, New Yorkers whether they wanted to or not, has been forced to give his new schools chancellor Cathie Black an opportunity, but that is proving to be one public relations mistake after another.
Pushing bike lanes down the throats of New Yorkers in busy traffic areas won’t help your popularity Mr. Mayor, but as Congressman Anthony Weiner has said, (one of the leading candidates for mayor) all the bike lanes are doing is they will become the first thing the next mayor will dismantle and return to normal.
Bloomberg travels throughout the world, but some good ideas for Paris, London, or Mumbai simply may not work in the Big Apple. The “pedestrian plazas,” making their way through busy NYC traffic areas come off as nothing more than elitist or pouting because Congestion Pricing did not make it through Albany.
Perhaps Bloomberg can go down in history as one of NY’s best mayors, but he needs to understand that right now, New Yorkers are not really “feeling” him or some of his policies.
Bloomberg needs to remember every day that he barely beat City Comptroller Bill Thompson and it wasn’t just due to the economy that hurt incumbents across the nation. Maybe Bloomberg needs to bring back some of the people from his first four years in office, but above all else, Bloomberg needs to remember his legacy is on the line.