In the past 24-hours, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been lauded as a post-partisan visionary keenly aware of being on the “right side of history,” and criticized as an out-of-touch plutocrat willing to sacrifice the city’s security to host the annual New York City marathon.
Bloomberg has been caught in the eye of a national media fixed on the city’s efforts to recover and rebuild in the wake of an historic battering by superstorm Sandy.
Tune in to ABCNews.com on Tuesday, Nov. 6 for livestreaming coverage of Election 2012. Our Election Day show kicks off at noon, and the Election Night event begins at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Bloomberg added “drang” to the “strum” and made additional headlines when he – a Republican turned independent – endorsed President Obama instead of Obama’s Republican opponent.
“I want our president to be on the right side of history,” Bloomberg said in an announcement that praised Obama for his positions on same-sex marriage and gun control, two of the mayor’s signature issues.
Liberals heralded the endorsement, conservatives called it a betrayal and New Yorkers knew it was just Bloomberg being Bloomberg.
For 10 years and three terms, the last of which came about after an amendment to the city’s term-limits law, Bloomberg has led New York City through rebuilding after 9/11, the financial crisis and now the worst natural disaster it has ever experienced.
The richest person in New York, Bloomberg has supported limited regulations for banks and businesses, while imposing “nanny-state” restrictions on trans fats, where people can smoke (now, not even outside on the beach) and soon, the size of their soda.
But perhaps no Bloomberg decision, even his strenuous support of “stop and frisk” and a controversial policing policy that critics say targets minorities, has roused as much ire as his decision to allow Sunday’s marathon to take place.
The mayor has been accused of diverting necessary resources, including police and emergency medical workers, from where they are needed to the marathon.
Even such loyal supporters as City Council President Christine Quinn criticized the mayor’s marathon decision. ”The decision to move forward with the marathon is not a decision I would have made,” she said today.
Bloomberg’s confidence and aplomb that residents celebrated in the hours before the superstorm made landfall — when he was scolding would-be surfers – is now cause for criticism.
But Bloomberg will be Bloomberg.
There are plenty of cops, he said, “who work in areas that aren’t affected” and can be used to police the race. Furthermore, the race would be good for business and help “generate a tax base” necessary to keep the city running.
But mostly, he said, the race would continue because it “gives people something to cheer about,” adding, “it’s been a dismal week for a lot of people.”
Join ABC News and Google+ for Election Night Hangouts – let us know who you are HERE.