The NYT one line article summary in my email this morning says:
"Michael R. Bloomberg's repeal of term limits and his campaign spending may have undermined his bid."
I thought it was a given that he was going to win, but I'm really surprised with how close the election turned out to be. I didn't vote for him (or the other guy). In fact, I didn't vote for mayor at all, because I didn't like anyone (but considered voting for the "rent is too high" party when in the voting booth, but didn't because I didn't know anything about them).
But I think those are the right 2 things to look at when thinking about how close this was. The repeal of term limits says a lot about him as a person and a leader. If things aren't how he personally wants them, he will just change them to be how he wants them. Can't be mayor for more than 2 terms? Change the law! Things just seem to keep happening around the city without any of us even getting to comment. For example, all of a sudden, the loading zone in front of our apartment building was turned into parking spaces, and now, not only is it much more difficult to drive down the street (the loading zone doubled as a left turn lane onto a busy avenue), but there's nowhere to park to unload the car (or people, in the case of taxis) so it's leading to lots of double parking. Anyone could have told him that, and maybe it wasn't his personal decision, but as leader of the city, it's easy for me to project this on to him. Don't get me started on the pedestrian plaza thing, which was definitely his idea. I'm OK with it now that it's no longer an eyesore, and we're getting used to it (and I LIKE public space), but in the beginning, it was unused and looked sloppy and cheap, and I still don't buy the argument that it reduces congestion on the city streets. Oops, I said I wasn't going to get worked up over all of this, and there I went.
As for the campaign spending, his spending and his constant mailings almost pushed me to vote for the other guy, even though I knew little about him and didn't particularly feel any great liking for him. For someone who claims to care a great deal about the environment, he sure sends a lot of paper and cardstock in the mail. Every day, we would get something from him. Not only that, but we would get TWO sometimes. It started months ago, and has only gotten worse as we got closer to election day. They go straight into the recycling bin, but it's incredibly annoying. We don't even read them, and he's just killing trees. In addition, we have been seeing his face all over TV. Even though I know the appearance at the marathon wasn't for campaign purposes, I had seen so much crap from him by that point that it almost felt like it was just another ad and another way to get his face in the news.
Am I a fan? Clearly not. But I also figured that he was going to win. NY1 said this morning that with his spending it was about $200 a vote. He outspent his opponent something like 16 to 1. I'm glad it's his own money (at least I think it is) and not ours, but seriously?! I guess maybe I shouldn't be surprised at how well the other guy did! I guess other people felt the same way.