Bloomberg squeaks in: Obama's cowardice saves his skin


The White House switchboard lit up with calls from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s emissaries several weeks ago with a message that was polite but firm: The mayor is going to win re-election, they said. We think the president should stay out of the race.

lead paragraph of the lead article in the Late Edition of today's Times

Did Bloomberg really tell Obama he'd better not support Thompson? Did Obama refrain from supporting Thompson because of the Republican mayor's implied theat? Does Obama need Bloomberg that much? Did Bloomberg need a no-show Obama in order to win?

This whole scenario looked crazy yesterday; today it looks insane.

Bloomberg barely tallied 50% of the vote in a very small turnout, even though he spent $100,000,000 on his campaign. His opponent, with a tiny fraction of that kind of money, was almost unknown to most New York voters, and almost invisible. Days before the election the Times reported that some black New Yorkers didn't know Thompson was black. Obama stayed away from the campaign, and never even mentioned Thompson by name.

Does anyone doubt that Thompson would have won had Obama made even the smallest exertion to associate himself with the Democratic candidate? With an upset like that Obama, whose popularity has been declining fast lately, would have become a hero everywhere in the nation. As a coward who wouldn't challenge the billionaire mayor, and his assertion of invulnerability, Obama gets nada; New Yorkers don't get change; everyone continues to lose hope.

APPENDIX: Anthony Weiner must be kicking himself this morning.

[image, otherwise uncredited, from queenscrap]