Today's Daily News is making much hay out of a survey they conducted that indicates New Yorkers, by a wide margin, consider Mike Bloomberg to be a better mayor than Rudy Giuliani was, and believe he would be a better presidential candidate. Money quote:
"[Giuliani] did over his wife, he did over [New Yorkers] and he is not going to do it with the country," [Bushwick Brooklyn resident Sarah] Roberts said.
This jibes with what many of us who lived through Giuliani Time have been saying about him; sure, he seems like a prickly, authoritarian scumbag, but once you get to know him you realize he really is a prickly, authoritarian scumbag. I'm kind of hoping he makes it through the Republican primaries before he has the inevitable oh-my-god-what-the-f-did-he-just-do meltdown we all know is coming, but I'll take it whenever I can get it.
What disappoints me about the Daily News survey is the continuing general consensus that Mike Bloomberg is a decent guy. Look, Bloomberg is Giuliani with a human face. I became fully convinced of that watching the strong arm tactics he employed during the Republican National Convention, and the subsequent revelation that he used the NYPD intelligence unit to infiltrate such threats to national security as Billionaires for Bush did nothing to improve my opinion of the man. I don't think Bloomberg did that because he's the same sort of proto-fascist as Giuliani; I think he did it because he wasn't going to let anything make anyone think New York City wasn't a good place for that luxury condo or sports stadium you might be thinking of developing. But you know what? In my book, that makes it worse.
Maybe he did it because after eight years of Giuliani that sort of bullshit has just become accepted as the way things get done in New York; if that's the case, then the shame is on us New Yorkers, but the responsibility is still his.