Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Wednesday unleashed a blunt and stinging critique of the federal government’s handling of the economic recovery, saying that lawmakers from both parties have “abdicated their responsibility” in favor of partisan bickering, have vilified success in corporate America and have left the country lagging behind its international competitors.
In a long and sweeping speech, Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, offered a wide-ranging plan for reigniting entrepreneurship and growth, calling for tax cuts for businesses, an overhaul of regulations and investments in job training.
Many of his proposals, like immigration reform, are not new and the New York City mayor’s ability to hasten their passage is untested. But at a time when the White House and Congress are struggling to reach consensus on how to tackle a stubbornly high unemployment rate, it was Mr. Bloomberg’s harsh assessment of Washington politics and his call for centrist problem solving that proved most striking.
“Last month, voters turned against Democrats in Washington for the same reason they turned against Republicans in 2006,” Mr. Bloomberg told a gathering of city business leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “Democrats now, and Republicans then, spent more time and energy conducting partisan warfare than forging centrist solutions to our toughest economic problems.”
The speech, far-reaching in scope and language, and delivered with much fanfare along the Brooklyn waterfront, instantly intensified speculation about the mayor’s political ambitions, whether it was intended to or not.
He needs to stop with the coy crap - he's running, all right.
But before he gets all misty-eyed thinking about becoming the next inhabitant of the White House (if he actually decided to live there - remember, Gracie Mansion is too "slummy" for him), he ought to learn that this kind of rhetoric isn't such a winner when unemployment is 9.8%:
As he has in the past, Mr. Bloomberg defended corporations — and, implicitly, Wall Street — whose success, he said, has become a liability in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008, when the federal government offered emergency loans to big banks and the automobile industry.
“It’s time to take a step back,” he said, “and ask ourselves, ‘When did success become a bad word in America?
Success on Wall Street and in corporate America became a bad word when corporations decided that they didn't need to hire Americans anymore.
Success on Wall Street and in corporate America became a bad word when corporate America enjoyed its most profitable quarter ever while the unemployment rate shot up to 9.8%.
So see how far that Defend Corporate America rhetoric gets you in Iowa and New Hampshire, Moneybags.
I'm no Larry Sabato, but I'm going to guess it won't get you too far.
Which is why you have a 19% approval rating outside of NYC.