In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today that, in light of climate-change concerns brought to the forefront by Hurricane Sandy, he'd decided to endorse President Obama for a second term, the New York Times reports. In 2008 Bloomberg, a political independent, declined to make an endorsement in the race for the presidency.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of both Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president's Republican rival, saying that both men have failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
"The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of next Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief," Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed article for Bloomberg View.
"Our climate is changing," he wrote. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action." …
President Obama said in a statement that he was "honored to have Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement" and agreed with Bloomberg's assessment that climate change was "a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it."
Read more at the New York Times.