The post-election aftermath and a little anaylsis (39876)

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.

“Bloomberg spent $100 million for four points,” said AmNews reader Ajamu Jamal, a vet from the Bronx who said he was disappointed by and suspicious of the election outcome. “It was so close. It is within 10 points, and with this amount money being spent why is there not a call for an automatic recount?”

Jamal continued, “If half the city did not want him and voted for Thompson, evidently that money came in handy. Hopefully, the message was received that he spent that much money and won by so little because the everyday people, not the top 1 percent [of] money earners, were hoping for a change in direction and more compassionate leadership. But, despite the valiant effort of Bill Thompson, this election proves what the Wu Tang Clan track always told us: ‘C.R.E.A.M., Cash Rules Everything Around Me.’”

“This was a tremendous victory for those who stood against all odds,” said Thompson-supporter Rev. Al Sharpton. “If people were not convinced by pollsters and the media that Billy Thompson couldn’t win, I believe the poll numbers would have been higher and we would have won. I believe the lesson here is that we should not let them fake us out. If we hadn’t done that, we would have won.”

“Every time someone can change rules of the people to suit their own political ambition, it shows that New York is leading the downward social spiral that we find ourselves in because it says that hard work and fair play do not equal a fair wage and fair opportunity,” snapped Jamal. “New York is not going to get better until the average person can make a decent wage, and it has not happened under Bloomberg. Maybe now [that] he has manipulated the system, he will have the opportunity to correct this ongoing problem.”

Former City Council candidate Marquez Claxton told the AmNews, “Just as the election of President Obama was bigger than the individual, the opportunity for us to elect Bill Thompson was an important step to begin re-invigorating a disinterested base and validate our relevance politically. Until we begin to trust the width and breadth of intellect and talent that exists in our own community, we will continue to be political masochists. It is painfully disheartening that far too many Black people still look outside of their own community for political leadership.”

In breaking news, Barron announced, “In light of Christine Quinn’s almost post-election non-endorsement and her continued roll as almost-deputy mayor instead of being the check and balance to the mayor as speaker, I’m not going to allow her go unopposed as speaker. I’m prepared to challenge her for the speaker’s seat and call on my colleagues of color to exercise our newly acquired majority in the City Council–27 people of color to 24 whites. Next week, I will be announcing my exploratory committee. Bill Thompson has shown us with tenacity and focus we can achieve.”