Mark this one done under the title: Rock’s Long Range Predictions. I predict that after he signs the term limit extension bill next week, Michael Bloomberg will find his approval ratings dropping like a heavy load. They will drop all the way to his political demise. Recently, his approval was in the high sixties percentile, having been as high as the seventies before that. By the end of next January, I predict that his approval ratings will come in be under fifty percent.
Furthermore, I expect that when the issues around the economic crisis sinks in, and when they begin to affect the city’s budget and attendant services in extreme ways; Bloomberg’s ratings will sink even lower. He will have little time to prevent the freefall, since the election is one year away. It is evident that the mayor will have to raise taxes and fees to increase revenue flow in the coming months; these won’t be popular measures. Like Senator John McCain in this presidential cycle, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be negatively affected by the country’s current economic woes. They will both suffer similar election-fates.
Not too long ago, Bloomberg told council members -who were concerned about their vote on the controversial bill- that the voters will soon forget the issue. He was wrong; dead wrong. His hubris blinds him from the reality that voters are pissed; extremely pissed.
I believe that there is more than a fifty-fifty chance of the courts overturning this bill. I also believe that even if the bill stands up to legal scrutiny, the high court of public opinion will speak out emphatically against what happened here. The inability of Bloomberg’s advisors to convince him to take his plans for the extension to referendum, will be the biggest failure of their service tenure. He disrespected the voters, and it was disrespect with a capital-“D”. He will pay the two ultimate prices: his mayoralty will be ended; and his legacy will be permanently tarnished.
His cowardly act of bypassing the voters -via buying off the council members and their rubber stamp- will haunt him like Banquo’s ghost. What he will also find is that the same disrespect he paid to the voters will be returned tenfold. Watch from now on to see what will be the response to the mayor whenever he goes out in public. They have already started to boo him. He needs to go to the barber shops and hear what they are saying; especially in the black and Hispanic communities.
Minorities are seeing this as an elitist attempt to dictate to them. They also see the publishers of the three major newspapers in this city (News, Post and Times) in collusion. Despite the fact that many of them believe Bloomberg’s tenure was a decent one, they deeply resent his despotic “extension” initiative. They are seeing the invisible hand of racism in play as usual.
They are also hearing things like Bloomberg rising from number 48 on the billionaire’s list -when he was first elected- to number 8 at present. And that his worth has gone from about 5 billion dollars then, to between 15 to 20 billion dollars now. His favorable ratings are quietly taking a hit. If he was smart, he would openly and publicly endorse Barack Obama right now; it will help in the short term. But he won’t; plus it might be too late anyway. No matter what, he is going to have a big problem with the minority vote next year. Take that to the bank but not the stock market.
This term-limits extension issue is polarizing the city. And the one thing that Bloomberg would hate for his legacy is for the “polarizing” label to stick. Ask Rudy Giuliani about that. Rudy will never get to double digits in the black vote; and he will be lucky to reach 25% of the Hispanic vote. Because of these anemic numbers in the minority communities, he will never win another major race in this city or state. Giuliani’s potential future run to become the governor of New York State is dead on arrival. And before you people start jumping all over this statement of mine, remember this: over a year ago when Giuliani was leading all the national polls, I predicted that his presidential bid was going nowhere. In fact, I termed it: “dead man walking”. I also predicted the John McCain resurgence. Go to my archives on Room Eight-New York Politics (www.r8ny.com); it’s all there for posterity.
When political activists eventually organize an anti-Bloomberg initiative, you will all see the results of what I am talking about here. Minority voters will join with progressive whites, to bring the mayor down from his illegal throne: watch.
Stay tuned-in folks.