Political Animal


November 01, 2012 5:33 PM I Take It Back!

By Ed Kilgore

Last week I wrote a post (half-facetious, but only half) saying some unkind things about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presumption in demanding that the two presidential candidates accept his positioning on a variety of issues in order to earn his endorsement.

My personal estimation of Bloomberg and his administration went up rapidly for obvious reasons since then. And then he removed the main basis for complaining by dropping his my-way-or-the-highway list of candidate demands and making an endorsement based on his overall sense of priorities, which now, after Sandy, understandably make a commitment to doing something about climate change at the very top.

In other words, he did what we all ultimately ought to do in politics: join a coalition of people with similar values and priorities and accept compromises on the less important—which is not to say unimportant—stuff. They’re called “political parties,” and it’s impressive that after a year of encouraging and promising to fund some supra-partisan political effort to take over the country, he’s arrived where the rest of us are: making a choice.

You can say I’m pleased with Bloomberg because of the particular choice he made, and there’s no question I am. But it may be more important that someone with the money and influence to hold himself above politics has done what Political Animals must all do, and subordinate his wishes to a larger cause.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Ron Byers on November 01, 2012 5:50 PM:

    Didn't I see him with Obama and Christie yesterday.

    If I was a Red State zombie I would say something like "I bet Obama must have bribed Bloomberg," but then I would be forgetting that Bloomberg is richer than everybody currently running including Mitt Romney.

    If I was David Brooks I might write that Christies effusive comments about the President and Bloomberg's endorsement means the 2016 campaign has already begun.

    Since I am a Democrat dedicated to dealing with reality and expecting the best out of people, I have to say that both the Governor and the Mayor must have seen the President in action and they were impressed. They also are scared to death of a privatized FEMA.

  • c u n d gulag on November 01, 2012 5:57 PM:

    Bloomberg, AND The Economist!


    Those have to hurt!
    When a guy whose money makes Mitt’s look like he’s playing around with Monopoly bills, and the preferred magazine of the Plutocrats, pick the skinny Kenyan Socialist black guy, that’s got to be a dagger in the cyborg’s digital heart.

  • Doug on November 01, 2012 6:05 PM:

    I sort of think people such as Mayor Bloomberg are those one could call "closet Republicans". They represent the GOP that was and is still represented by many who vote Republican but DON'T consider themselves Tbaggers. Perhaps now they'll start fighting for "their" party.

  • meady on November 01, 2012 7:28 PM:

    I don't know @gulag. The shorter economist "We naturally wanted to vote for the Republican, but he was just not a convincing enough liar" That was a lukewarm endorsement at best. I doubt Obama will be talking it up much.

  • Rick B on November 01, 2012 7:34 PM:

    @Ron Byers 5:50 PM:

    "The Governor and the Mayor ... also are scared to death of a privatized FEMA."

    I'm sure that "Heck of a job, Brownie" making his statement that Obama reacted to Sandy too quickly reminded them what a privatized FEMA really meant.

  • exlibra on November 01, 2012 8:28 PM:

    Gulag, thanks for the Economist link. It may be a tepid endorsement (better the devil you know...), but it sure is a hearty "refudiation" of many-faced Romney. Made my day :)

  • R on November 01, 2012 8:36 PM:

  • rrk1 on November 01, 2012 9:45 PM:

    Romney may have embarrassed his buddy plutocrats at The Economist with his blatant and endless lies, but Bloomberg can buy and sell the whole lot without a second thought. I can't imagine Bloomberg endorsing Obama if he thought he would have to deal with a President Romney cum 2013. He isn't that principled. The mayor knows what is becoming increasingly evident. Obama is the likely winner, even after a likely bruising battle in the courts.

  • emjayay on November 01, 2012 10:55 PM:

    Wow I woulda thought that Bloomberg would attract educated business oriented Wall Streeters, but the comments make Yahoo News comments look literate and intelligent. Maybe the endorsement brought out the morons.

    It's always appalling anyway to see how stupid some of my fellow Americans are. Before the internet we just weren't so exposed to the minds of the totally appalling ly ignorant.

  • castanea on November 02, 2012 8:18 AM:

    "Before the internet we just weren't so exposed to the minds of the totally appallingly ignorant."

    Ain't that the truth, though? I'd add that before email and the incessant forwarded messages I get from relatives, I used to think that my elders were sane, respectable people, not a collection of illiterate morons.

  • Kid Curve on November 02, 2012 8:59 AM:

    Any minute now we're going to start hearing a new conspiracy from Drudge, Rush, and the other right-wingnuts that Obama refused to provide federal aid unless Christie and Bloomberg endorsed him.

  • Jimmyig5ff on November 02, 2012 10:07 AM:

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