If you have followed everything he has done for the past nine years, it has become abundantly clear that Bloomberg believes he is the real schools chancellor for the City of New York. And, by the way? If you don't like it, you're wrong.
In that way, he is a more polished and decent version of his predecessor, Rudolph (I, Me) Giuliani. Because sometimes, even with a less confrontational style, even as he has tried to make the city a more civil place, you think Bloomberg is almost as stubborn as Giuliani was, just with more money to help him get what he wants.
Bloomberg thinks he is the schools chancellor the way he thinks he is the chancellor of where you can smoke, and the chancellor of how much trans fat should be in your food, and where you can walk in Times Square. If he'd had his way, he would have been the chancellor of where the Jets play football.
A great, feisty New York City teacher I know put it this way yesterday:
"Mike Bloomberg thinks he is the mayor of anything and everything. But he is wrong about this. Whatever he says, this is a totally inappropriate choice for the largest school system in this country."
Bloomberg clearly thinks this teacher is wrong. Of course. He is Bloomberg, the chancellor of everything. He has bought into the flawed notion that a good manager really can manage anything, believes he can take a woman who ran Hearst Magazines and parachute her into the city's school system. Believes he's right on this the way he always does. The power he has accumulated in his time in his office, and the fortune behind that power, have begun to distort his idea about how he governs.
In the end, that is EXACTLY what this is all about - Bloomberg thinks his money gives him the right to run everything.
He thinks he knows better than everybody else about everything.
He is Rudy Giuliani, just smarter and more calculated and of course without the abrasive edges.
That is why he has been more successful than Saint Rudy of 9/11 at getting what he wants.
Except for the Jets stadium and congestion pricing, Bloomberg has gotten almost everything he wanted.
And despite doing things in a hardball way, his poll numbers remain very good for a politician who has been around for 9 years.
But as I have said before, third terms are a funky thing and people start to get sick of you when you're in the public eye for so long.
Especially when you had to circumvent the will of the people and change term limits to stick around.
This Cathie Black matter will leave a bad taste in people's mouths. It is an emblem of everything that IS Moneybags - insular decision making, arrogance, dismissal of other people's concerns, and the privileging of the corporate over anything else.
This can be the start of everything going wrong for Bloomberg, of his poll numbers falling and people publicly saying, "You know what? Enough with King Moneybags! Kill the King!"
He got his chancellor. But she begins the job bruised and weakened by the waiver process.
And Bloomberg ends this whole mess bruised and weakened from having his imperious governing style exposed to the light of day.
Now it's time to exploit those weaknesses, both with Black and with Bloomberg.