Will Bloomberg’s climate-change endorsement be the straw that breaks the Romney campaign’s back?

Nov 1st, 2012 | By | Category: In Brief

Even with only five more days to go, it’s hard not to agree with Abigael Evans of Colorado, who is “tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.”  (And then, we read in the same coverage : “At the Al Smith dinner earlier this month, even President Barack Obama joked that ‘sometimes it feels like this race has gone on forever.’”)

But today — Thursday, November 1, 2012 — we have some news that can only warm the hearts of (sort-of) foreign observers such as ourselves, who have lately stood behind such postings as “Why I think President Barack Obama is the biggest thing that’s happened in American history in my lifetime” and “Maybe Barack Obama will have to settle for next PM of Canada (or is he just the Democrats’ new comeback kid)?

Financial crises wreak vastly deeper harm than regular recessions. This has impeded Obama’s recovery measures. But the fact remains that, by the standards of a financial crisis, the United States suffered through a relatively shallow trough and has enjoyed a fairly rapid recovery. Here is a chart laying out the comparison between the United States and other comparably afflicted economies. Obama managed to stabilize the financial system and, through the stimulus, avert a total collapse in consumer demand.

The news is :”US election: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorses Barack Obama.” Or, somewhat more from the horse’s mouth: “NY Mayor Bloomberg Endorses Obama in Presidential Race.” (And, if you want to read Mayor Bloomberg’s exact words, consult, eg : “US election: Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of Barack Obama.”)

Now, it is true that Mayor Bloomberg is a perhaps somewhat unusually reasonable and broad-minded business person. And it is true that the mayor’s statement of endorsement includes some reservations about President Obama, who, the mayor claims, has “embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.”

As this November 1, 2012 Gallup chart suggests, unemployment in the United States has actually been on a slow but comparatively steady decline since the start of 2011, whatever all the other more grim-seeming statistics might appear to be saying (especially when said by President Obama’s opponents).

Mayor Bloomberg also regrets that he feels unable to vote for Mr. Romney, who “is a good and decent man, and … would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office.”  Yet, even as a person with much valuable business experience of his own, Mayor Bloomberg does feel unable to endorse his fellow business person Mitt Romney, who has “taken sensible positions”on various issues in the past, but has now “reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.”

Still more to the point, Mayor Bloomberg writes in his endorsement: “The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief … 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 … We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”

Of course, who knows if this will actually be the straw that finally breaks the Romney camel’s back — an environmental trump card from one big business talent to another? Like Governor Christie in New Jersey, Mayor Bloomberg is a politician in a very blue state already solidly in the Obama column. Still, it could be one for the history books if … etc, etc. Meanwhile, here are two supporting cards from today’s Bloomberg Business Week online : “It’s Global Warming, Stupid” and “Mitt Romney’s Missed Opportunity.”

And here are assorted other data that may or may not prove relevant in the very end : “Climate Change Heckler Interrupts Romney Rally”; “The Case for Obama: Why He Is a Great President. Yes, Great” (by Jonathan Chait) ; “Obama, Christie, in apparent bromance as Romney struggles on the sidelines” ; “Real Clear Politics Poll Averages” ; “Real Clear Politics Averages by Battleground State” ; “Presidential Polls: Barack Obama’s Ohio Lead Holds” ; “Flailing in Ohio, Romney rolls out Jeep ploy: editorial” (from the Cleveland Plain Dealer) ; “Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event: ; “Romney Campaign Says Victory Possible, But Not Certain” ; “US Unadjusted Unemployment Down to 7.0% in October”; “US election: Mitt Romney’s new ad ties Obama to Chavez, Castro’s niece” ; and “The 2012 Presidential Campaigns Basically Now Have More Money Than They Can Possibly Spend Sensibly” (especially in the little time that now remains).

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