Browsing the archives for the Michael Bloomberg tag.

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Michael Bloomberg

Politics, US Politics

On October 2, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, announced that he was seeking reelection to a third term. Under normal circumstances, the announcement by an incumbent officeholder that he intended to run again would hardly qualify as major news, except that Bloomberg is currently prohibited by law from serving more than two consecutive terms in office. The announcement came as something of a surprise, as Bloomberg had earlier opposed the extension of term limits, but for the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent billionaire, consistency to principle has never been a significant hurdle when it was placed in the path of personal ambition.

proponent of term limits, just not his own

Michael Bloomberg: proponent of term limits, just not his own

The New York City term limits law was itself the product of thwarted ambition. Ronald Lauder, heir to the cosmetics fortune, spent $14 million of his own money for the privilege of losing the 1989 GOP mayoral primary to Rudy Giuliani, who then proceeded to lose (at far less cost to himself) to David Dinkins in the general election. After that experience, Lauder began to see the wisdom of term limits.  This time Lauder spent a paltry $1 million to get a referendum on term limits approved by the voters in the 1993 election. Unfortunately for Lauder, it proved unnecessary to pass a referendum to put a term limit on Dinkins, as Giuliani and the voters of New York took care of that themselves. Just as the Republican framers of the 22nd Amendment sought to prevent another Democrat from being elected again to more than two terms only to see their own Dwight Eisenhower become its first victim, so too did the New York GOP push for term limits only to have it take effect right when Rudy Giuliani entered office.

Continue Reading »

1 Comment