Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been named “Leader of the Year” in GQ‘s annual “Men of the Year” issue and he sits for a colorful interview with the magazine.
On the Ground Zero Mosque:
It’s a First Amendment issue. About a month ago, my girlfriend, [financial-services manager and public activist] Diana [Taylor], and I were at J.G. Melon, 74th and Third, great hamburgers, and a big hulking guy comes up to me.. says, “Can I talk to you?” I say, “Sure.” I’ve got a hamburger in one hand, I got a glass of beer in the other one, and I said, “Whaddya wanna talk about?” He says, “The mosque,” and I’m thinkin’, Ah shit, I don’t need this. But he said, “I just want to say, I just got back from two tours in Afghanistan, and a couple of my friends never came back. You get out there and keep reminding everybody why we’re fighting.”
On the media:
You know the old joke, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Well, the news business is so tough that if today it’s not bleeding, they take a knife to it.
More on the media:
I am a believer that the public is a lot smarter than the press-that they don’t read the press, listen to the press, remember what the press wrote.
On worrying about whether or not people like him:
You know, if you don’t want people to like you, you should see a shrink. The first day I ever campaigned was on South Beach in Staten Island. And this nice little old lady with white hair comes up to me and she said, “Oh, I’m glad you’re running. You’re a breath of fresh air. I’m going to vote for you. All my friends are going to vote for you. Anybody that wants to run against you is going to drop out right away.” And I’m thinking, “Shit, this is easy. First day and I’m elected.” Then she looks up at me adoringly and says, “And I’m so glad you’re pro-life.” And I remember for a billionth of a second in my mind: What do you say? Do you lie? You want someone’s vote. She’s got all her friends; she’s influenced the whole city already the first day! I don’t wanna piss her off. But I said, “Well, I’m so sorry, I happen to be very much pro-choice. I’m not in favor of abortion, but I do think it’s totally up to the woman’s right to choose.” And I will bet you anything that I got that woman’s vote.
On President Obama:
The president, I think, needs some better advisers. He campaigns “I’m gonna do A,” and then he doesn’t do it. Now he’s pissed off the supporters and the opponents.