Friday, August 22, 2014
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Obama's Bloomberg Boost

The New York mayor knows a thing or two. His endorsement of the Prez should be taken seriously.

Obama's Bloomberg Boost

President Barack Obama (left) is being endorsed for re-election by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (AP Photos)
President Barack Obama (left) is being endorsed for re-election by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (AP Photos)

There probably are smarter business people in public life (and maybe some with a better grasp of how the economy works) than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; but if so, I don't know anything about them.

The Harvard-educated Bloomberg's success and leadership places him annually on lists of America's richest and most influential people.

That, by itself, is no reason to harken to his words.

But when coupled with his political independence and efforts in this election cycle to fund campaigns of candidates interested in bi-partisan problem-solving it makes him someone to listen to when it comes to the nation's future.

So his endorsement of President Obama's reelection, coming after sharp criticism of the incumbent (and his opponent) is not only a plus for Obama -- especially right after that bi-partisan hug the Prez got from Gov. Christie -- but also a factor to consider by those who may be undecided or wavering in where to throw their support.

Bloomberg, who I've long wished would run for president as an independent if for no other reason than to bring rational dialogue to the debate, has proven his commitment to public life with sensible, effective leadership in arguably the toughest city on the planet.

His backing of Obama now comes on the heels of devastation from Hurricane Sandy, the death and disruption it caused in his city and his long-standing views that our elected leaders foolishly ignore warnings of global warming -- something many seeking or holding high office consider a hoax.

Bloomberg also strongly supports gun control, abortion rights and gay rights, a fact that turn off many Americans. I understand that.

But his business/economic credentials at a time the economy tops the national priority list should be considered first in any assessment of his words regarding why he's backing Obama.

Generally, I don't put much stock in endorsements. They usually have more to do with the endorser than the endorsed. But when those with the experience, knowledge and leadership skills of Bloomberg. Colin Powell and (tacitly) Chris Christie step up to acknowledge the attributes of an incumbent, their words are worth considering.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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