New York's mayor wants to break the term-limit barrier, a drag on democracy.
It takes chutzpah for Michael Bloomberg to try to throw out New York City's term limits and seek a third stint as mayor. But with Wall Street in danger of becoming Skid Row, the popular mayor says he wants one more opportunity to lead. He should get it, but not because he, and only he, can save Gotham.
Mr. Bloomberg (an independent) should be allowed to seek a third term because that would provide voters the fullest choice at the ballot box next year. They can decide then whether this billionaire product of Wall Street is the best candidate to rescue the city from the severe shaking of its financial sector.
There's no question, his maneuvering for a third term is so lit up with irony it would illumine Rockefeller Plaza at Christmas. Wasn't it Bloomberg who benefitted from the two-term restriction on his predecessor, Republican Rudolph Giuliani? In the 2001 election, many New Yorkers believed "Rudy" was best suited to carry on after the World Trade Center tragedy, and wished he could have run again.
Bloomberg himself has supported the city's two-term limit on elected officials, as has the speaker of the City Council, where legislation to extend the limit to three terms is expected to be introduced Oct. 7. With council members and the mayor benefitting, the change is expected to pass – in defiance of two successful voter referendums supporting the 15-year-old law.
Whether Bloomberg should go through the council or take the question back to voters is debatable. But the larger judgment on term limits no longer is.