Mike Bloomberg: Two Great Terms is Enough

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Mike Bloomberg has served city and country well over the past seven years. To mention just a few of his accomplishments with the city government: he has restored New York’s economy and sense of stability, cut crime, pushed growth and tourism into the outer boroughs, put the city on track to be a model of sustainability, encouraged common-sense solutions at the national level, and broke down some important partisan divides. Not bad for two terms.
But two terms is enough. Bloomberg now wants to tear down term limits so he can have a third. As recently as three years ago, he called this idea “a disgrace.”
When Bloomberg was first elected, Rudy Giuliani tried to make the case that he should be allowed to extend his term after the September 11th attacks.
I’m very supportive of term limits in general. But what really riles me up in this case is Bloomberg’s attempt to extend his tenure at a moment of fear at the national and municipal levels.
This may or may not be cynical — Bloomberg may actually believe he’s uniquely qualified to lead the city through this crunch, and he may well be. It doesn’t matter. Crisis points are the worst times to change political rules, especially when those changes result in more concentrated power (See also: Bush Administration, First Term).
If term limits need to be revisited (and I don’t think they do), they should be discussed when heads are cooler. The worst thing we can do at a moment of panic is throw out our carefully considered political foundations.
— Scott Paul

Comments

16 comments on “Mike Bloomberg: Two Great Terms is Enough

  1. söve says:

    For the mayor and the City Council to vote to repeal term limits because they are all so self-important that they think only they can “save” the City in these difficult times is egotistical and wrong headed. Repealing term limits without the approval of the elctorate represents everything that’s wrong with our Democracy.

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  2. downtown says:

    As an East Village resident, i concur with WigWag above. Additionally, it’s not such a rosy track record as far as many people outside the real estate / financial sectors are concerned. Also, a large part of Bloomberg’s attractiveness was due to the previous occupant’s rather dismal image among a large group of residents. Time constraints prevent me at this moment to recount first hand experiences. The link below sums it up quite nicely, though:
    http://washingtonsquarepark.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/mayor-bloomberg-part-ii-the-blanding-of-new-york-city/

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  3. rich says:

    There’s no point in having term limits if the guy in office can credibly make them go away. For his own benefit.
    Kinda defeats the purpose.
    And it doesn’t matter if he did a good job or not. Time’s up.
    (Of course, same goes for George Bush and the laws he suddenly decided didn’t apply to HimSelf.)

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  4. Scott Paul says:

    I know. Very disappointing.

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  5. Mr.Murder says:

    Had Hillary been on the ticket, Bloomberg would have run for President as a Perot to split McCain’s support.
    Hillary would vacate a Senate seat and he would of had the political capital and momentum to run for that seat in the wake of her moving to higher office.

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  6. WigWag says:

    New Yorkers have had the opportunity to vote on term limits twice. Both times they indicated by overwhelming majorities that they wanted term limits.
    For the mayor and the City Council to vote to repeal term limits because they are all so self-important that they think only they can “save” the City in these difficult times is egotistical and wrong headed. Repealing term limits without the approval of the elctorate represents everything that’s wrong with our Democracy.

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    New Yorkers have had the opportunity to vote on term limits twice. Both times they indicated by overwhelming majorities that they wanted term limits.
    For the mayor and the City Council to vote to repeal term limits because they are all so self-important that they think only they can “save” the City in these difficult times is egotistical and wrong headed. Repealing term limits without the approval of the elctorate represents everything that’s wrong with our Democracy.

    Reply

  8. NP says:

    As a New Yorker, I love Mike Bloomberg. He’s a fantastic mayor
    and the city has thrived during his tenure. Who knows if the next
    mayor will be able to keep this ship sailing so smoothly? We’ve got
    such a good thing going here, I think we should give him a chance
    to extend it. I seem to remember a great President adding a third
    (and fourth!) term. Any complaints there?

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  9. carol says:

    I totally agree with Mr Bloomberg…..whatever his personal reason may be!!!
    We have 8 long years of this nonsensical administration and it’s time for them to go.
    John McCain is not the big saviour of the day as he likes us to think…..he is just an arrogant, erratic personality and this country deserves better….MUCH BETTER.

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  10. questions says:

    Didn’t Giuliani want to delay elections? Isn’t Bloomberg hoping to stand for re-election? Isn’t there a difference? And could we finally get rid of the foolish and false populism of term limits?

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  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe are
    among those who would be treated as icons and heros if they had
    retired eight or ten years ago. Bloomberg of New York should
    find something else to do.

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  12. Zathras says:

    To be fair here, Giuliani’s associates floated talk of extending his term before Bloomberg was elected in November of 2001. So Bloomberg is attempting something similar to what Giuliani tried to do, except that Giuliani had explicitly ruled out seeking a full third term.
    Does this matter? Not to me, and frankly I’d be surprised if it mattered to people outside of New York City. I don’t care for term limits, on principle, but neither do I care that much about who is mayor of New York.

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  13. Steve Clemons says:

    Hmmm….I sort of like Bloomberg around for a while more, regardless of term limits. He’s a national balancer — and if he’s not in NY, his profile is so large that he’ll end up in an Obama cabinet — which I think would be unhealthy at the beginning until Obama finds his stride (if he wins). So, perhaps best to keep Mike Bloomberg occupied in NY. But interesting post Scott — steve clemons

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  14. janinsanfran says:

    I’m surprised you believe in term limits. They are one of the signal features of California’s catastrophically dysfunctional government. Politicians spend all their time trolling for their next office; lobbyists monopolize whatever policy expertise survives in Sacramento. Everyone has something better to do than attempt to govern the state in any long term sense.
    That said, I hope Bloomberg gets smacked down for trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. That stinks.

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  15. Karl says:

    Agreed Scott. I don’t always agree with Mike but he’s served the people of New York City well over the last eight years and will leave behind a great legacy, I hope he doesn’t try to ruin that with a fear based attempt for more power.

    Reply

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