A fellow New York expat told me today something he’d been hearing from back home in Queens: That in the wake of complaints about his decision to have the New York Marathon go on as planned, notwithstanding that many neighborhoods are still without essential services after Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg may change his mind and cancel the race at the last minute as inappropriate under the circumstances. The expat added that his informants felt this would be clever, as it would bring the runners and rubberneckers to spend money in the city, then deny them the main event under a sanctimony that would make it difficult for them to object.
I admire the conniving logic behind this prediction, but it presumes something that does not seem remotely true about Bloomberg, which is that he is ever interested in the short term at the expense of the long. Consider his many public health interventions against tobacco and overconsumption, none of which were popular when he proposed them, and the real benefits of which will take years to be felt by his (in some cases still grumbling) subjects. Consider also his recent decision to endorse Obama for President mainly on climate change grounds, from which as Mayor of a reliably blue jurisdiction he cannot possibly expect any immediate gain, but from which as an advocate of green energy policies he may expect to help realize, as he said, “the world I want to leave my two daughters.” This is not the kind of thinking we normally see in New York politicians, which some citizens apparently still find it hard to believe. They must be old timers.
—Roy Edroso, Washington, DC