The post-election aftermath and a little anaylsis
Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.
The morning after the night before: The streets of New York urban areas are sort of quiet. Perhaps a little resigned. Maybe a little despondent. It cannot be post-election nonchalance, surely...? Election posters and palm calds are strewn just about everywhere.
On Election Day, November 3, it was down to the wire. The networks and the cable stations had anchors and experts of mostly a similar ilk predicting, contradicting and rehashing. But by the end of all the proclamations and color graphics, five measly points separated challenger Bill Thompson from the incumbent, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Billy was the big winner," declared Charles Barron, who was also returned to his seat in the City Council by his Brooklyn constituents. "I've never been involved in an election quite like this where the winner was the loser, and the one who came in second was the real winner."
This was the result, Barron told the AmNews, "in spite of President Barack Obama spending time in Jersey losing with Corzine and losing in Virginia and not campaigning with Billy. He really won, in spite of major unions like 1199 and UFT sitting on their hands and in spite of 32BJ and other unions endorsing the mayor."
Barron joined those smarting at what some perceived to be a betrayal of those who went with Massachusetts' $18 billion man, Bloomberg, as opposed to the hometown fella, Billy Thompson.
"Billy won with the people in spite of the three amigo ministers--Butts, Flake and Bernard--endorsing Bloomberg for a few pieces of silver," decried Barron.
Just over exactly a year ago, Bloomberg switched his long-held position in favor of the people-supported term limits and opened up the door for a legislatively endorsed extension--and his win on Tuesday. He pumped over $100 million into his re-election bid against Thompson, who spent a mere fraction of that on his campaign.
Yet, observers point out that when Bloomberg dropped $85 million-plus on his 2005 re-election bid against Fernando Ferrer, he beat his challenger by a good 20 points. He shelled out millions upon millions more in the last few months alone--allegedly a million a day--and yet, just a few points secured this win.
Mainstream talking heads were aghast on Tuesday night when the 49 percent to 48 percent numbers came in with over half the precincts reporting. The pollsters, they mumbled, had got it wrong. Thompson had told them, but they had not believed.
"Billy Thompson was less than five percentage points from victory," said Barron. "We must remember that the so-called scientific pollsters had Billy behind by 18 percentage points, and Bloomberg spent over $100 million. Billy Thompson showed that pollsters lie and money doesn't vote. People vote."
Possibly massaging a dented ego, whilst proclaiming to all who will listen to the subtext and the body language, that it is the 50 percent over 46 percent victory--not the margin or the mandate--Bloomberg hit the "victory" trail early Wednesday morning. Astute New Yorkers, however, quickly ascertained that all is not as it appears.