2009-11-06 / Columnists

The Morning After: Winners (Thompson) And Losers (Bloomberg, The UFT And Anthony Weiner)

Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Bloomberg The big winner, and maybe the only winner in the mayoral election, was Bill Thompson.

Fifty-one percent to 46 percent. Add the other anti-Bloomberg candidates and it's a statistical tie: 51-49 percent.

All along I felt he was running for the 2013 race. Everyone declared him a loser from the very beginning.

The obvious issues: Bloomberg was pretty popular and his money. But Thompson also ran an inept campaign, refusing to really go after Bloomberg on his education record and other issues. When Giuliani pulled the race card while campaigning with Bloom berg standing at his side, Thompson showed no fight back. A lot of the enthusiasm for Thomp son that existed was due to anti-Bloomberg feeling.

Ed Notes was predicting from the get-go that Thom p son didn't want to go overboard, preferring to husband his resources for the next time. And I felt that the lack of the UFT endor sement was a sort of quid quo pro, where he pretty much figured he would get it in 2013 in his face-off with Anthony Weiner, whom the UFT despises. Thompson is now the most viable candidate in 2013 and has four years to build a war chest.

The losers

The big loser is Michael Bloom berg. Listen to news reports and he's almost a laughing stock. Jeff Green berg on Imus calculated what he spent per vote (I think it was thousands) and suggested Bloomberg should have just gone around in a Brinks truck and handed out a thousand dollars to everyone who promised to vote for him and he could have saved $50 million. By the way, if Bloomberg had donated the 100 million he spent for class size reduction in the 100 worst schools in the city he would have done a lot more to improve education for a great number of kids than anything else he's done in his education deforms.

Rem ember what happened in Ed Koch's third term. May the same fate befall Bloomberg.

The other big loser is the UFT, which sat on the sidelines (see comments below). Their performance should cause as much embarrassment as Bloomberg faces.

The numbers come out to their worst nightmare. At the debates over the Thompson endorsement at the Oct o ber Delegate Assem bly, the UFT leadership made the case that Thompson was a sure loser and at most could move the needle only three points. Let me do the math: subtract 3 from Bloomberg and I get 48 percent. Add 3 percent to Thompson and I get - let me see now, it comes to 49 percent for Thompson.

Thus, every time another idiot policy comes out of Tweed or out of the mouth of Bloomberg, every single teacher in the system should think about these numbers.

When the UFT folded on term limits in rejecting an ICE proposal at the October 2008 Delegate Assembly, Paul Egan also made a lame case, as I report- ed on my blog: In opposing the ICE amendment to the term limits resolution, UFT District 11 (Bronx) rep Paul Egan made the astounding argument that if each individual in the room went home and called their city council rep that would have a greater impact than if the UFT as an organization took a stand and pressured the reps to deny Bloomberg another term of office."

Will the election results affect the upcoming internal UFT elections? ICE/TJC will make sure to remind the members how Unity Caucus and Mike Mulgrew put Bloomberg in office.

Another big loser was mayoral wannabee Anthony Weiner, who folded like a cheap suit when faced with a few measly attacks from the Bloomberg machine.

Counting on Thompson being the sacrificial lamb and would get swamped to the extent he would not be a viable candidate for mayor in the future (call it the Ruth Mes - singer syndrome), Weiner figured to be a shoo-in in 2013.

In fact he could have beaten Bloomberg this time and maybe even handily.

Look for a mea culpa, but his jelly fish spinelessness will not easily be forgiven.

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