Surprise Endorsement: In Wake Of Storm, NYC Mayor Bloomberg Backs President Obama

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President Obama today scored one of his more critical – and unexpected – endorsements yet; from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Even though Bloomberg is a business titan and the 10th richest person in America, the Mayor has said President Obama is the best candidate to lead America down the right path.

Both Obama and Romney have sought the Mayor’s endorsement because his support is seen as influential with independent voters nationwide, which both candidates need to pull ahead. Bloomberg ran for mayor as a Republican in 2001 and 2005, but exited the Republican Party over policy and philosophical disagreements and became an Independent in 2007. He is known for balancing tough budgets and progressively reducing the city’s deficit. Bloomberg’s unexpected endorsement is likely in direct response to Hurricane Sandy. He did not endorse a presidential candidate four years ago when Obama ran against John McCain.

In his written endorsement, titled A Vote for a President Who Will Lead on Climate Change, Bloomberg writes that Hurricane Sandy “brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.” He continues:

Our climate is changing. 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 might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

Bloomberg then points out that President Obama has made progress in reducing output of carbon and other pollutants, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards and adopting tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will save the lives of thousands of Americans each year.

He goes on to say that Romney at one point or another had “sensible positions,” but that the GOP candidate has now “reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.” Bloomberg also lambasts Romney for abandoning carbon cap-and-trade programs the candidate once supported. “This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward,” Bloomberg writes.

Unusual for an endorsement, Bloomberg also chides Obama, writing that he has found the last few years disappointing, particularly because, in his view, Obama hasn’t succeeded in building a “coalition of centrists” to make policy progress despite Republican obstructionism.

“Nevertheless,” Bloomberg continues, “the President has achieved some important victories,” including improving schools with the “Race to the Top” education program and achieving health care reform which Bloomberg says “will provide insurance coverage to people who need it most and save lives.”

As Bloomberg closes the letter, he makes a point with which I couldn’t agree more. He writes:

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.

Bloomberg mentions the importance of preserving a woman’s right to choose and achieving marriage equality. But most pressing for Bloomberg, perhaps because it is the most dangerous, is whether the candidate will address climate change, or sit idly by while more people die and billions upon billions worth of property is destroyed.

“I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics,” Bloomberg sums up.

REMINDER: President Obama is asking supporters to please VOTE EARLY (Find your nearest location). The polls are open in most areas today through Saturday morning. This election will shape the future of America. Please take part, in any and all ways that you can.

(If you agree with Bloomberg, please consider sending Obama $5

to help fight negative ads in the final days.)


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