In New York, No One Matters But Bloomberg

Political foes gone, power elite diminished, moneyed mayor calls all the shots
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 11:14 AM CDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, foreground second from right.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg—the perfect mayor for New York in a financial crisis or arrogant billionaire who's pretty much bought an unprecedented third term—above all, Chris Smith writes, he is “a one-man Establishment.” A perfect storm of his personal fortune, the vagaries of international finance, and the shifting demographics of the city’s political classes makes Bloomberg the “only powerful figure in New York who really matters.” And that will likely be true for four more years.

Bloomberg’s primacy is based on a power vacuum, Smith writes in New York. The influence of other players is “circumscribed, confined to their narrow categories.” Traditional foes of Bloomberg have decamped for Washington or seen their sway diminished in the economic crisis. And “in these turbulent financial times, the business elite has been more than happy to delegate the job of running the city to one of their own.” And whether you’re a fan or not, Smith writes, the power has allowed him to do what, “in a democracy, should not be possible."