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Mayor Bloomberg welcomed delegates to New York yesterday (read his speech here). Our famously less-than-compelling-as-a-speaker of mayor gave a nice speech, except for calling the cornerstone at Ground Zero a "tombstone". Newsday said delegates gave him the biggest applause when he said, "President Bush deserves our support! We are here to support him, and I am here to support him!"

The NY Times writes that the room was half-empty when Bloomberg appeared, and Gothamist thinks that he must have been happy with that, hoping the delegates were out spending some money on NY. Included in his remarks was this request:

At least one morning while you're here," he said, "begin the day with a ride on the ferry to Staten Island. Out there in the harbor, you'll glide past the Statue of Liberty, the beacon of freedom that America holds out to people everywhere. It's guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat, because you'll be looking at New York the way generations of new Americans have: As the place to make all your dreams come true.

Mayor Bloomberg also dodged police officers protesting their wages. The off-duty officers went to the Bryant Park Grill to suprise the Mayor, but the mayor's aides cancelled his appearance when they heard of the protest. And you can see the video here.