At least, that seems to be the selling point in this WaPo article on Bloomberg's possible entry into the race. The primary cause of the media fascination with Bloomberg is not his viability as a candidate, but the opportunities he gives media pundits to engage in wild speculation without accountability.
At any rate, this seems a stretch to me:
Giuliani is selling himself as a strong leader who achieved the impossible in bringing an ungovernable New York under control, even if it required some bruising confrontations along the way. But Bloomberg, his admirers say, has shown that the city of 8 million can be run successfully in a far more understated fashion -- that a mayor can reduce crime without cultivating a sheriff's swagger and antagonizing minorities, protect against terrorism without overly fixating on security, and tackle deeply rooted urban problems without getting into public spats with top appointees.
"Bloomberg shows it's possible to manage New York without offending people," said Peter Kostmayer, a former Democratic congressman who is president of Citizens for New York City, a nonprofit group. "His entrance would be a complete disaster for Giuliani, because then you're able to compare. You have one mayor who was successful and turned off lots of people and one who was successful and has turned on lots of people. "
Bloomberg didn't offend people? Really? because I was pretty turned off when Bloomberg used the racially charged word "thugs" to refer to the NYC Transit Union (otherwise known as the folks essential to making New York City able to function) during their strike last year.
Toussaint said he took issue with Bloomberg's earlier remarks that the union "thuggishly" turned its back on New York. He called the language "undignified and unbecoming."
"We are not thugs,'' Toussaint said. "We wake up at 3 and 4 in the morning to move the trains in this town. That's not the behavior of thugs and selfish people."
Many more people were "turned off" by revelations that Bloomberg enlisted significant resources to spy on political enemies of the Republican Party before their convention in New York in 2004.
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman reported on the May 17 edition of The Situation Room, that "the New York Police Department was secretly monitoring" protesters before and during the convention "and not just at public events." In March, Bloomberg had defended the surveillance activities, saying, "We were not keeping track of political activities. ... We have no interest in doing that." As a March 28 New York Times article noted, however, "the records [in federal lawsuits] show that the police did covertly monitor political activity. Virtually every intelligence report, even those about expressly peaceful groups, described the political viewpoints of the organizations."
I'd say the Bloomberg turns a great deal of people off. Apparently, few of those people are reporters. Even more frustrating, the media still seems to think it can offer the perspective of the black community simply by interviewing Al Sharpton.
The starkest contrast has come in dealings with minority neighborhoods. Giuliani feuded with several top African American elected officials, and was criticized for his handling of fatal police shootings of unarmed black men. Bloomberg can seem out of touch with the city's minority areas -- in 2001, he tried to connect with a Harlem congregation by marveling that his daughter's chief rival in equestrian racing was black. But he won nearly half of the black vote in his 2005 reelection. And when police killed an unarmed black man in Queens in November, Bloomberg moved to quell the uproar, going so far as to meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"Giuliani had people suffer the illusion that meanness was tantamount to management," Sharpton said. "When people would say, why was he not reaching out to people who disagreed with him, he would justify that by saying that's not how you manage. Well, Bloomberg has reached out but managed anyway."
Bloomberg being an improvement over Giuliani is hardly a selling point for his candidacy in my view. But more importantly, since he hasn't declared or formed an exploratory committee, why is this article being written?