Michael Bloomberg plans to buy, demolish term limits

Well, this is awkward. Dylan tagged me to try and shed some light on New York City’s 2009 mayoral race, presuming, perfectly reasonably, that I would be fairly well-versed in the political climate of the city in which I live. That’s not entirely the case, however – my knowledge of NY politics is pretty sketchy, particularly now that I’ve been back in CT for two straight months, but I’ve been working on it.

With that disclaimer out of the way, a few thoughts:

First off, on the likelihood of Bloomberg getting a third term: He’s pretty damn popular in New York, and if he manages to get rid of the term limits, I think he would get reelected easily. But eliminating the term limits so he can run in the first place? That would probably be trickier. As the Times article that Dylan links to points out, a referendum wouldn’t do it but the City Council might. If the Speaker wants to keep her job, then she might try to push it through – but she might eyeing Bloomberg’s job, in which case she’ll want to preserve the term limits, because there’s no way in hell she’s going to want to have to go up against him next Fall.

One ray of hope for Bloomberg: the Democratic governor thinks it’s a swell idea.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about who else might be running – I can tell you that if Bloomberg gets his chance at a third term, it’s not going to matter a great deal. In the meantime, I’m not making predictions until I hear about anyone assembling a team.

One last thought: When I first read about Bloomberg’s push for an end to term limits, it reminded me that he’s not the first prominent New York Mayor to try and artificially extend his administration past two terms. The difference is that Bloomberg seems to be attempting it through constitutional means, while Giuliani was basically trying to pull a Julius Caesar.


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