The Tarnished Bloomberg Brand

Monday, January 03, 2011

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's a Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Celeste Katz, writer for the Daily Politics blog at the New York Daily News and Errol Louis, host of NY1's Inside City Hall, discussed the fallout Mayor Bloomberg has faced over the city's response to the blizzard.

Mayor Bloomberg gave a blizzard-related press conference almost every day last week, and he needed to. Each morning brought new backlash and new questions about the city's lackluster response to the snowstorm. Celeste Katz says that fumble could cost Bloomberg a lot of political capital, especially considering that he has billed himself as a manager as much as a mayor.

I think people will be very angry for a very long time about the city's response...To say it's Bloomberg's Katrina is overstated, but it really chips into his image as someone who "keeps the trains running."

Bloomberg has had trouble keeping the ambulances running too. Unplowed streets and unmovable cars kept many emergency service vehicles from reaching snowbound New Yorkers. Those in need of medical attention were largely out of luck last week. One caller named Chris, a paramedic, detailed the difficulty that the city's services had. According to him, Bloomberg's refusal to declare a snow emergency torpedoed any chance of these institutions operating effectively after the storm.

On my way to work there were so many cars stuck in traffic that sanitation trucks couldn't do their jobs. Ambulances literally couldn't get past the ER bay. I've worked other storms, other blizzards, and never seen anything like this. I think the bottom line is nobody called for a snow emergency. If that was done, I think people would have taken it more seriously and probably the overtime or the resources would have been dispatched.

Errol Louis pointed out that the storm came at an especially inopportune time for city services. After a round of internal promotions and hundreds of new hires, many of the city's snow removal workers hadn't had enough time or training in their new roles to deal with such a major storm effectively.

They had to hire new folks and they rushed them out onto the trucks. They'd only had two weeks of training and they needed considerably more before going out in the field. This overall presents a picture, what's the management strategy here? Do these guys really have a handle on this?

Katz said that question will likely haunt Mayor Bloomberg. If a snowstorm can cripple New York, it will also cripple Bloomberg's image.

I think the brand is damaged...You can't have a big city like this shut down, brought to its knees with this kind of chaos and people actually unable to get the help they need, and not suffer some sort of repercussions for this.


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Comments [8]


Thanks designed for sharing such a good opinion, post is pleasant, thats why
i have read it completely

Mar. 07 2013 08:08 AM

The worst Mayor we've ever had. Bored, arrogant, and with very feeble talent among his lackeys.

The myth of Bloomberg's competence relies on a supine media. Of course he spearheads an oligarchic stranglehold on information.

Who remembers the Bronx house fire that killed a large family of African immigrants? Mike was missing that weekend also, touring Key West; when asked if he would return to the City early, his reply was "I'm not fireman".

Each time Scandal and waste become visible a powerful news blackout or shift in the media conversation is rolled out. The list of disappointments with our self-coronating emperor is tediously long. It would show some integrity if he announced an early departure from office like Palin's.

Jan. 07 2011 10:54 AM

To NYC regarding Bloomberg: You get what you vote for!

Jan. 05 2011 11:48 AM
ann from washington heights

I find it embarassing to hear New Yorkers whining that their streets weren't plowed fast enough after this huge snowstorm and that this will tarnish Bloomberg's rep? Please, we can certainly look elsewhere for ammunition against our Mayor, but let's be just a little more realistic. This was a huge holiday season storm which happened in the in the middle of a huge budget crisis. In my neighborhood, many people actually got out and pitched in.

Jan. 04 2011 04:29 PM
Stuart Zagnit from Brooklyn

Mr. Bloomberg has once again proven himself to be out of touch with real issues that face New Yorkers. He has consistently turned his back on the outer Boroughs, Brooklyn in particular. Four years ago he sent police out to ticket cars frozen into the snow after the Valentine's Day storm, saying car owners who did not move their cars were "lazy." He eventually was forced to forgive all those tickets. Then he sat in silence while the MTA cut crucial bus service, stranding and inconveniencing thousands because the agency couldn't run it's affairs competently.
And now he turned his back on us during the recent snowstorm, which we are still recovering from. Everyone else seems to think Brooklyn is the place of the moment. Mr. Bloomberg would be content to send us back to the Dark Ages.

Jan. 04 2011 12:11 PM
Janice from The Bronx

I am even more happy now that I never once voted for this Mayor!

Jan. 04 2011 12:10 PM
Peter from Brooklyn

Perhaps this is karmic retribution for hizzoner overturning the will of the people re term limits? Democracy has its ways!

Jan. 04 2011 11:56 AM
shelly ostro from New York

Bloomberg, like Bret Favre, violated the rule: "Quit while you are ahead."

Jan. 04 2011 11:09 AM

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