The New York City mayor’s race is down to its last week, and Michael Bloomberg looks like a certainty to win it.
However, nothing can be taken for granted. This is a real “Throw the bums out” year, and any Democrat running in New York starts with an automatic 40 percent of the vote -- so Comptroller Bill Thompson is not without hopes of a major upset.
There is also a backlash against Bloomberg for trying for a third term and overthrowing term limits.
Me? I think we should be glad to have him here in New York.
The Irish Voice newspaper has already endorsed Bloomberg, so I can only give my personal endorsement to a man who has done well by the Irish in his two terms.
During that time, he traveled to Ireland on several occasions, met with visiting Irish dignitaries and generally had an open door on Irish issues, including immigration reform. He checked the right box on all our issues.
His latest venture was agreeing to an Irish football field in Queens, an extraordinary gesture given that Irish games in New York have not had their own home since the old Celtic Park in Queens two generations ago.
Yes, of course, there was Gaelic Park, but the O’Donnell family was the leaseholder and that field is now owned by Manhattan College, which has a lease agreement with the GAA.
Bloomberg showed up at the temporary Gaelic field in Queens two weekends ago, and kept hundreds of Irish enthralled with his vision for it.
With thousands of youngsters now playing Ireland's native games here in the New York area, the field in Queens could be a field of dreams for the GAA -- and Irish associations generally.
We have long lacked a place to put on games, festivals, gatherings -- and a field within close proximity to Manhattan would be a massive advantage.
I also thought of how good a mayor Bloomberg has been for the Irish and the city generally when I was out in Notre Dame at a football game a few weeks back and ran into Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
He is now the longest-serving commissioner in history and the first to serve two different mayors. Much more than that, he has done an incredible job and is someone we can all be proud of.
I admire Bloomberg for reaching out to Kelly and choosing him even after former Mayor David Dinkins had made him his police commissioner. I’m sure there were many in the mayor’s circle who thought that a former Democratic pick was not the person to lead a Republican administration on law and order.
Bloomberg obviously thought so. There is no question that if Bloomberg had not run for a third time, then Ray Kelly would have been one very prominent name mentioned to replace him.
When I see what happened to Rudy Giuliani’s police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, who has had the most extraordinary fall from grace, then I appreciate even more who Bloomberg chose.
Kerik, a one-time commissioner of the Corrections Dept. in New York heard the jail cell door slam behind him this week after a judge threw him in the slammer because he was allegedly trying to interfere with evidence in a case against him.
I cite the Kerik case just as an example of how wrong the choice for police commissioner could have been. Instead, we have a man of tremendous talent and probity in the 1 Police Plaza job.
Kelly is just one example of the excellent choices Bloomberg has made in leadership roles in his administration.
In these tough times we need a leader in New York who has an outstanding business and political background. Mike Bloomberg is that man. He deserves to be re-elected.