Two Bloomberg Tales

While presidential candidate Bloomberg’s record is being extensively discussed, it’s worth remembering the less sexy, somewhat forgotten, but equally bad parts of his tenure, since they reveal quite a bit about what kind of president he would be (hint: indefensible).

Despite his claims to technocratic competence, like many who seize this mantle, he often was incompetent. During the snowstorm of 2010, he couldn’t get the streets cleared, and people couldn’t get heating fuel or reach the hospital. A two-year old died. Yes, snowstorms are challenging, but other mayors were able to get the streets cleared after 48 hours–and Bloomberg had three terms to figure out how to do this. Bloomberg had decided to appoint as Deputy Mayor of Operations (the person who would oversee things like snow removal) a Republican ideologue whose primary qualification was busting unions, as opposed to actually running things. In addition, Bloomberg continued to lay off city employees to the point where snowplows weren’t being used because there weren’t enough workers to drive them.

Heckuva job, Bloomie.

But we can move from incompetence to greed-based malice. During Bloomberg’s tenure, he decided to protect the real estate industry from new rules to reduce lead poisoning. He argued the rules were fine, and blamed the parents of the effected kids for poor house cleaning skills. In one meeting, he then argued that “lead poisoning rates used to be even higher and how Neanderthals adapted to it.” The city’s Housing Authority would cease testing for lead altogether, ultimately leading to the state declaring an emergency in public housing due to lead contamination.

When people say Bloomberg is a Republican, this is why: his behavior has been par for the course for Republicans.

As I’ve noted before, Trump will attack Democrats from the left, not to convince moderates or conservatives, but to lower enthusiasm among Democrats (and thus turnout). Having to defend Bloomberg’s record will make defending Biden’s record appear trivial. We knew who Bloomberg was, and we know what kind of person he is. A Bloomberg candidacy would be a disaster, and, even were he to win, a Bloomberg presidency not much better.

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