As “The City That Never Sleeps” continues to slowly reawaken after the immense, unexpected damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and despite his highly publicized stance not to take sides in the presidential election, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has endorsed President Barack Obama.
In a lengthy, detailed posting on his website, Mike Bloomberg.com, the billionaire businessman turned politician critically analyses both candidates — and Mitt Romney comes up short. Though he praises Romney’s economic acumen, Bloomberg’s decision hinged primarily on his inability to maintain a policy position.
More importantly, President Obama’s extraordinary response during Hurricane Sandy, and his dedication to addressing climate change, makes his leadership necessary to the future of America:
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.
Mitt Romney, too, has a history of tackling climate change. As governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap-and-trade plan designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels. “The benefits (of that plan) will be long-lasting and enormous – benefits to our health, our economy, our quality of life, our very landscape. These are actions we can and must take now, if we are to have `no regrets’ when we transfer our temporary stewardship of this Earth to the next generation,” he wrote at the time.
He couldn’t have been more right. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.
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But it’s not just climate change; it’s personal.
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.
One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.
One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.
One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.
Of course, neither candidate has specified what hard decisions he will make to get our economy back on track while also balancing the budget. But in the end, what matters most isn’t the shape of any particular proposal; it’s the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress – and President Obama can, too. If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.
President Obama welcomed the endorsement today, saying that he and the mayor agree on “most important issues”:
“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it,” Obama said.
New York is a blue state, so this announcement may hurt Romney more than it helps Obama. It is, however, a strong endorsement that will play well to the business community and those questioning the president’s ability to steer the nation through a rocky economy. Because Bloomberg is also an Independent, it will more than likely inform the swiftly approaching decision of undecided voters. Throw in the budding bromance between NJ Governor Chris Christie and the POTUS as they harmoniously respond to Hurricane Sandy, it seems this storm may have turned the tides in more ways than one.
Read Mayor Bloomberg’s entire post at MikeBloomberg.com.