Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s outgoing press secretary touted his boss’ efforts to make life in New York City better for residents over the past 11-1/2 years in a wide-ranging interview on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show Friday.
“It’s important to remember—it’s actually very difficult to remember—how far we have come as a city; how elevated our expectations are for the delivery of government services,” said Stu Loeser, who announced last month he was stepping down to start his own consulting firm.
Loeser fielded questions about Bloomberg’s track record on mayoral control of schools, the impact of the smoking ban and his relationship with the press, among other topics.
He gave some interesting tidbits about Mayor Bloomberg:
- Bloomberg “studiously” changes the order of the newspapers he reads each day, but reads the Financial Times first. Loeser said Bloomberg does this so he doesn’t get in a mindset of reading something in the New York Post and then seeing how the Daily News covers it or vice versa.
- If there is photog outside Bloomberg’s home in the morning, and he feels like doing the guy a favor, the mayor will hold paper the photographer works for under his arm. If Bloomberg doesn’t want to be bothered, he’ll be careful to put the competitor’s newspaper under his arm.
- On Bloomberg’s Spanish: He works hard at it. He does it more and more and does it better and better, but Bloomberg himself has said he’s not exactly Winston Churchill in English.
- Loeser said if the mayor doesn’t get push back on his initiatives, Bloomberg thinks it wasn’t bold enough and he has to try harder.
As Bloomberg wraps up his term, Loeser said the mayor continues to drive his administration to get as many things done, as many changes cemented in the way city government works and in the way the city operates before he leaves office.
Loeser worked for a number of Democrats before joining Bloomberg’s team in 2006, including Chuck Schumer, Carl McCall and Mark Green, who ran against Bloomberg in 2001. But he said working for a Republican mayor of New York City didn’t mean turning hard right on all the issues.
“Actually going to work for the Republican in this weird way of New York politics meant that I had to move and tack left, a little bit.”
Listen to the full interview above.