What could be worse for a mayor who's presided over scandals that sapped hundreds of millions of dollars from city coffers, sycophantic appointees and lagging gains in education? The forcible arrest of 3,000 citizens in Zuccotti Park. According to the Daily News, local politicians—including Mayor Bloomberg's allies—pleaded with City Hall hours before the deadline for the forced clearing and cleaning of Zuccotti Park approached on Friday morning. "City Hall wanted Brookfield to ask for the postponement," a source who lobbied the mayor told the paper. "City Hall was able to get Brookfield to say, 'We'll back down.'"

Bloomberg expressed his "anger" at those who told Brookfield Properties, the part-owner of Zuccotti Park, to back down. A spokesperson for the mayor's office said, "The decision to do it or not do it was not one the mayor consulted them on." But a Baruch College profession told DNAinfo, “To suggest that they did it independently of the city administration is stretching belief."

Indeed, the resulting footage of the NYPD arresting and carting off Occupy Wall Street protesters could have dealt his legacy a fatal blow. “The mayor’s made some huge blunders over the last couple of years, but this might in fact have been the worst one he’d made so far,” Democratic consultant Scott Levenson told the news outlet. "He could not ever have recovered."

A former consultant to Ed Koch agreed: "No one gains from a confrontation, especially if it turns ugly." Perhaps Bloomberg, who famously bent the rules to run for a third term, is now regretting his $100 million decision. The Times' Michael Powell points out that Friday's capitulation was one of the many signs of the mayor's "tired administration" that's "not getting a lot done,” as Koch's old consultant says. Watching Bloomberg briefly visit the Occupy Wall Street movement in Lower Manhattan was akin to seeing "Charles Foster Kane amid the Dickensian urchins."

But Mayor Bloomberg doesn't come off so bad to some folks: they're just not his constituents. "I'd like to ask why [New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg let the people stay in the park peacefully and clean up their own mess, and Rahm Emanuel won't let us do the same," a demonstrator at the Occupy Wall Street event in Chicago told the Tribune. Hey, in a few years, Chicago will need a new mayor...