In a surprising announcement this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left the Republican Party in 2007 and has been courted extensively by both presidential candidates, endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection. Mr. Bloomberg publicized his decision in a Bloomberg View op-ed and said Hurricane Sandy’s destruction and the need to tackle long-term climate change motivated his decision.
“We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks,” he explained. “His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”
In contrast, Mr. Bloomberg said Republican candidate Mitt Romney was “abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported,” and the issue is simply “too important” to let slide.
In his announcement, the mayor, who has been coy about whether he’d make an endorsement in this campaign, also cited his agreements with Mr. Obama’s social policies.
“The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America,” he wrote. “One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision. One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.”
The actual value of Mr. Bloomberg’s endorsement is unclear.With election day only days away, it will be difficult for Mr. Obama’s team to use it to leverage his appeal among the business community for additional contributions or to distribute targeted campaign mailers featuring the announcement.