What Both Parties Can Learn from New York

The mayoral election of 2009 does not look like it will be as exciting as any of those great campaigns. Instead incumbent mayor Michael Bloomberg will likely get reelected for a third term without much difficulty. While we New Yorkers can lament that we are not getting the great drama we like to see in our mayoral election, there might be a broader message in this election for both major parties. Bloomberg, while registered as an independent, has been an on and off Republican since he first ran for mayor in 2001, and will be that party's nominee again this year. New York is, of course, a heavily Democratic city, but if Bloomberg wins, for the first time in our history, we will have five consecutive terms of Republican mayors. To look at it another way, the last time the city elected a Democratic mayor was 1989 a year when Barack Obama was a law student; the Soviet Union still existed; and a blackberry was a fruit. Further, there have been not one, but two terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center since a Democrat was last elected mayor of New York.