In Front of Obama Official, Bloomberg Tamps Down Talk of ’12

duncan1 In Front of Obama Official, Bloomberg Tamps Down Talk of 12Obama administration Secretary of Education–and longtime pal of the president–Arne Duncan came to New York today to tout a pilot program to modernize the GED test and test prep, and he was joined by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who had nothing but good things to say about Duncan’s boss.

I have said this a thousand times and so I am going to say it again: I happen to think that the great legacy of the Obama administration will be, I hope it will be really making what is maybe the most important thing that the present government can do and that is improving our public school system throughout this country. The president has had the intelligence to pick somebody for the job who is imminently qualified and I think if you watch what he has done over the last two years it shows the president made a very wise choice in Arne Duncan. He’s a champion of reforms vital to our children and to our nation.

The remarks were a striking contrast to Bloomberg’s remarks yesterday, where he chided the Obama administration for failing to do enough to promote job growth.

Bloomberg was asked at the news conference if he was surprised or pleased that his speech led to speculation in the press about his intentions for 2012. While the rest of the audience laughed, Duncan stood there, stone-faced.

“I am not running for president, okay?” the mayor responded, adding, “The speculation is just speculation. The truth of the matter is I don’t know how many times I have to say it– not running for president.”

dfreedlander@observer.com

@freedlander