Michael Bloomberg has made his endorsement for president and his choice is... Barack Obama. And it is the issue of climate change (and Hurricane Sandy) that made his mind up. "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 mayor wrote in his endorsement.
"Our climate is changing," he went on. "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 may be-given the devastation it is wreaking-should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action." And so Obama, despite some mixed feelings on his record regarding climate change, it is!
As for Romney, who the mayor was said to be "favoring" just a few months ago? He's still a fan, most of the time:
I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.
But in the end the cons for the GOP candidate just appeared to outweigh the pros. Of course the endorsement of Obama isn't the most ringing we've seen, but we suspect the President will take it:
When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.
One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.
One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.
One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.
Of course, neither candidate has specified what hard decisions he will make to get our economy back on track while also balancing the budget. But in the end, what matters most isn't the shape of any particular proposal; it’s the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress - and President Obama can, too. If he 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.
Between this and Obama's post-Sandy photo-op/lovefest with Chris Christie yesterday, the President is sure shoring things up electorally after Sandy. Will Bloomberg's endorsement make much of a difference? Depends! But BuzzFeed's Ben Smith makes a good point:
It also turns the New York Mayor, who had been searching for a next act, on the leading edge of an issue that Sandy had forced the media and political class, whose attention had wandered to the coal-heavy economies of the midwest, to consider. Bloomberg's foundation has spent years building a climate initiative. If Obama wins, the cause will finally have what it had lacked: A victory, and a political story to tell.