Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is entering the US presidential race, and he for sure has my vote. I voted for his first two Mayoral terms in my hometown of New York, and when he needed another term to finish what he’d started, I voted for him then too.
Upon entering the race, he was immediately attacked by Amy Klobuchar, one of the many Democrats who is not making a meaningful impact, because he pointed that out. But he’s not wrong. The panel of Dems lined up against Trump can barely be heard over the deafening cacophony of incendiary tweets coming from the White House.
During his 12 years in office, Bloomber rebuilt the City after 9/11, revitalised development, poured money into our Parks department and brought out the best architects in the City to build municipal projects with sustainable building requirements. He overhauled the Department of Education, much to the chagrin of teachers, but the public school system is more effective now than it ever was.
While the rich got richer, the outer boroughs reaped the rewards of an increase in spending on local projects. It’s true that the artists who used to live downtown moved out because of an increase in rent. But what this led to — localised arts hubs in far flung neighbourhoods — has done more to bring artists into communities than any grant initiative ever has.
While Bloomberg was Mayor, crime went way down and the murder rate plummeted. Much of this was do to the NYPD “stop & and frisk” policy, which was used primarily in poor neighbourhoods. This was controversial, even though it worked, because it looked like racial profiling.
Bloomberg wants gun control through background checks and getting serious about gun trafficking; he wants to address climate change through private sector cooperation; he is a major philanthropist who constitutionally opposes wealth taxes; he is interested in insuring the uninsured, but not through “Medicare for all.” Bloomberg comes under fire for his silly “nanny state” policies, like soda taxes, but presidents don’t have that power, and he is no socialist.
In terms of Trump’s claim to being a successful businessman, Bloomberg’s got him thoroughly beat. The fact that he said he only got into the race because the other Dems are making a mess of it is damned honest.
He is frankly the only candidate running that would make me glad to go to the polls.