2005_10_23_bloomberg.jpgAnd in case the cover of the Arts and Leisure section left any doubts, "with one caveat in mind," The New York Times enthusiastically endorses "Michael Bloomberg for mayor."

But what is that one caveat? Bloomberg has spent too much money, especially the second time around. While Bloomberg "may be remembered as one of the greatest mayors in New York history," his "out-of-control campaign spending" may hinder his chances:

This year, with all the advantages of an incumbent, he was still unwilling to take on the less well-known Mr. Ferrer in an even fight. He bypassed campaign spending limits and blanketed the airwaves with almost $20 million in ads. His lavish purchase of TV time drove up the cost of advertising, making it even more difficult for any other voice to be heard.

Money cannot compensate for a terrible candidate; there are plenty of very rich men who could not spend their way into office. But it can undermine the election process. Mr. Bloomberg, safe in his self-financed campaign, has felt free to ignore the city's excellent campaign finance laws on every issue from spending limits to where and when he should debate Mr. Ferrer. The result has been a muffled, unsatisfactory race.

The Times then goes on to point out some of the mayor's good talking points (management skills, 311, the crime rate and the smoking ban) which they feel outweigh his massive checkbook. The Times endorsing Bloomberg isn't really a surprise but it does emphasize how little time is left in this election. Poor Freddy. What do you think of the endorsement?