It seems that Hurricane Sandy has given New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a wake up call, announcing Thursday night that as a result of the massively destructive storm he now wants to officially endorse Barack Obama, the candidate he thinks will best be able to tackle climate change.
On the news site owned by the company he controls, Bloomberg.com, the mayor penned the reasoning for his endorsement, writing, “The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast -- in lost lives, lost homes and lost business -- brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.”
"The floods and fires that swept through our city left a path of destruction that will require years of recovery and rebuilding work… Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
"We need leadership from the White House -- and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks."
The Mayor pointed out that as Governor of Massachussets, Romney too passed legislation to help the environment, but that he has since reversed course.
“If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing,” wrote Bloomberg.
“In 2008, Obama ran as a pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder. But as president, he devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists, which doomed hope for any real progress on illegal guns, immigration, tax reform, job creation and deficit reduction. And rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice, he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.”
“I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there,” wrote Bloomberg. “One (candidate) sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not…If he (Obama) listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.”
While New York almost always votes Democratic, the endorsement of Bloomberg is particularly significant as the mayor is politically independent, and both candidates have been competing for his endorsement.