The idea that the Wall Street crisis makes a third term for Michael Bloomberg more appealing to voters sounds familiar to Randy Mastro, a former deputy mayor who served under Rudy Giuliani.
"Looking back at historical precedents, the same argument was made after 9/11 when Rudy Giuliani was in office," Mastro said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Mastro said calls for Giuliani to stay in office after his second term "was an issue that was aired publicly and not brought up by him." He added, "It was Rudy Giuliani who put an end to it and said it would be undemocratic to stay on."
(The way Giuliani’s attempt to stay on after 9/11 actually played out was somewhat more complicated, and was abandoned in large part because it proved to be an unpopular idea. Freddy Ferrer, who was running to succeed Giuliani at the time, received a big political boost by speaking out loudly against it.)
The current mayor has taken an open-ended approach.
Mastro declined to speculate on why Bloomberg has not more clearly stated his position on term limits ("You’d have to ask him"), but he did say, "At an earlier point in time, Mayor Bloomberg made it very clear that he thought that would be undemocratic. So, if he’s going to be consistent over time, this is a question that should only be addressed by the voters, and not the local legislature."