Bloomberg May Not Realize That Rich People Are Unpopular

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Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, iStockphoto.

Yesterday, in his defense of the Obamas' date night in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg remarked that, to him at least, the president “does not get paid that much.” Well, as the Times points out, President Obama's $400,000 salary — as well as the millions upon millions he rakes in from book royalties, don't forget — actually puts him in the top one percent of American earners. The Times goes on to mention a couple of additional recent Bloomberg statements that make him seem out of touch with the common man, like proclaiming "we love the rich" and using Bergdorf Goodman as an economic point of reference. Not that Hizzoner's tendency to call attention to his own power and affluence hasn't been noticed before, but the evidence is really starting to add up.

Along with the aforementioned moments, let's also not forget the time the richest man in New York stood up for his old friend, Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld, or "Wall Street's public enemy No. 1," as our magazine put it. Or when he expressed his opposition to digging into the bonuses of AIG executives who received taxpayer bailout money. Then there was also the time he pretty much said that people who read The Wall Street Journal (i.e., people with stocks) don't kill people. We're not saying he's always been wrong or that he should kowtow to populist sentiment for the sake of political expediency. But all the same, we bet someone could probably compile all this recession aloofness into a pretty nifty TV ad.

The Latest Stray Words of an Off-the-Cuff Mayor [NYT]