Highly recommend Wayne Barrett’s Village Voice feature on Bloomberg and his third term – you get a sense of the collusive egomania required for someone like Bloomberg to run again. Barrett sees the move as a pure act of self-obsession, an argument I try to avoid for its narrowness, but it’s pretty persuasive in this case. Bloomberg co-ordinates his business interests, city office and charity donations into an independent economic force all of his own, turning them into a vast machine that serves himself and enough other rich and powerful folk to keep himself in power indefinately.
Stunts like unilaterally withholding property tax rebate checks (which, he, um, can’t do legally) are the real legacy of the Bloomberg Mayoral reign. He has vastly centralized power into the executive of city government, and sidelined the power of the City Council by leveraging his personal wealth and business connections.
Against this background of intimidation by Bloomberg’s money and clout with fellow billionaires, no viable candidate has fully stepped into the ring to challenge him. Any serious challenge would work wonders to undermine the rising hegemony Bloomberg exercises over the city, injecting dissent into the developing consensus that Bloomberg offers the last hope to our city.