Do Not Expect a Hug From Mayor Bloomberg

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21:  Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends Paul McCartney's & Nancy Shevell's party at The Bowery Hotel on October 21, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Photo: Rob Kim/2011 Getty Images

When President Obama toured Staten Island yesterday, he brought with him oodles of empathy and two big, strong arms for embracing those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Hugger-in-Chief was joined on the excursion by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, as reported in the New York Times today, "hung back." The whole touchy-feely thing seems to weird Bloomberg out, even in a time of crisis: "After nearly 12 years of overseeing the nation's largest municipality, he remains deeply uncomfortable with the role of consoling and soothing his city," says the Times. "He is rarely seen at public meeting with storm victims, and when he does interact with them, there are no tears or hugs."

If not now, then when? Has this man ever willingly wrapped his arms around another human being?

"The people in this city didn't elect Mike Bloomberg three times to give him a hug," explained Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. "His focus is helping people restore their lives. That's what he believes government is there to do." In fact, over the last ten years, there's scant public evidence of Bloomberg engaging in the generally well-regarded practice of holding someone close.

Here he is, sort of touching a woman's shoulder last year:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) embraces Rachel Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality and his niece, after Tiven introduced him at Cooper Union College on May 26, 2011 in New York City. Bloomberg gave a speech calling on lawmakers to pass a bill allowing same-sex marriage.
Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bibi Netanyahu gave it a go, but got resistance:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embrace after they both made short statements at the prime minister's residence on October 23, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. Bloomberg presented Netanyahu with an American flag that flew in Washington, D.C. that he would like given to freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Photo: Jim Hollander-Pool/Getty Images

And here's a lady draping her arms around him almost a decade ago:

It's a dream come true for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Latina bombshell Jennifer Lopez gives him a hug at a City Hall news conference. Bloomberg, who has publicly pined for a meeting with J. Lo since May, appointed her honorary chairwoman of his new Latin Media and Entertainment Commission. "I finally got my date," said the mayor. "Whatever I can do, call me," said Lopez.
Photo: New York Daily News Archive/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

He gave Barbara Walters a real one, although he looked tortured over it, in 2003:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks delighted as he hugs his "bride," Barbara Walters, during a Fantasy Wedding segment of the television program "The View." Walters' original plan was to do the wedding with a cardboard cutout of the mayor, but he agreed to be on the show. Unfortunately, Bloomberg had to leave before having any of the wedding cake.
Photo: New York Daily News Archive/Daily News Archive via Getty Images

And went for it with this old woman in 2005, using an envelope for protection:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets a hug as he campaigns with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch (R) in the Bronx November 7, 2005 in New York City. Bloomberg faces Democratic challenger Fernando Ferrer in tomorrow's election.
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

But wait ... what's this?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor embrace onstage at New Year's Eve 2012 in Times Square on December 31, 2011 in New York City.
Photo: Steve Mack/FilmMagic

On New York's Eve 2012, with girlfriend Diana Taylor, he did not hold back. It feels good, doesn't it?