Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has kept his vow not to comment on (which is to say criticize) his successor De Blasio’s performance during the first year of office. Bloomberg said it was good for New York City to hold his tongue about the mayor, since his own predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, didn’t comment on Bloomberg’s performance during his rookie year.
According to the Daily News, Bloomberg said, “In the first year in particular, when you are a new mayor, you don’t need a previous mayor criticizing …. I will not criticize.”
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However, Bloomberg has come close to it. In an interview with Katie Couric, he said he was against the boycotting of the St. Patrick’s Day parade because it didn’t include gays. De Blasio has been openly critical of the Bloomberg administration, including its handling of Hurricane Sandy, failure to negotiate new contracts with unions and issues with public housing. While Bloomberg has not answered these points directly, those who were in his administration have been vocal. Former Deputy Mayor Cas Calloway defended the Bloomberg administration on rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and Chancellor Dennis Walcott spoke in support of the former mayor’s education policies. Former police commissioner Ray Kelley issued “no comment” early in the administration, but has eventually criticized De Blasio. On ABC he said De Blasio warning his biracial son to beware of police has not endeared him with the police force.
As De Blasio faces his second year, some wonder whether Bloomberg’s silence will continue. Former Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson suggested Bloomberg speak out several times, but Bloomberg decided not to. Wolfson thinks that Bloomberg, having returned to the company he founded, isn’t interested in returning to politics. “He’s not positioning himself for another office. He’s not like Bill Clinton, a leader of a party. He’s decided to run his company again and he’s extremely focused on that. Tempermentally, he is just someone who does not look back.”