Bloomberg, Spitzer Prompt Conceptual Breakthrough: Could It Be Better Not to Be an Asshole?

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Bloomberg a week ago. Photo: Getty Images

We have — we have always had — a soft spot in our heart for those who can expertly muster and deploy arrogance, obnoxiousness, self-righteousness, and general assholery. (No, there's no particular reason we appreciate those traits. Ahem.) This is one of many reasons we have admired both our governor and our mayor. But this week there's some bad news. First, Steve Fishman's cover profile in the magazine showed that Eliot Spitzer's trademark and self-assured aggressive intransigence may not be working for him and may well actually be working against him. Then come reports today that Mike Bloomberg's trademark and self-assured mellow certitude could have been what did in his congestion-pricing plan.

Per the Times:

In a tense meeting on Monday, testy exchanges erupted between the mayor and the Democratic state senators he was trying to win over. At one point, according to several people present, Mr. Bloomberg told the senators that his administration had sent plenty of information about his plan in the mail, and that it was not his fault if they had not read it.


“If the mayor came in with one vote, he left with none,” said Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat.

“His posture was not ingratiating,” he said. “He says he doesn’t know politics, and he certainly bore that out by the way he behaved.”

So angered were Democrats that they decided to vote as a bloc to defeat the measure, and there were not nearly enough votes among the Republican senators for it to pass.

So it turns out being pompous actually isn't the best way to get things done. Who knew?

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