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Mayor Bloomberg tries to defy history -- again

There are two maxims in New York City politics.

The first is that the political trajectory of New York mayors won't rise above City Hall. (See Mike Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, Ed Koch, John Lindsay.) They may run for, or seriously entertain running for, senator, governor or president, but, for one reason or another, they won't make it.

The second is that their third term, if they're lucky to get one, may well turn out to be a disaster. Koch was the last three-term chief executive, and he saw his mayoralty riven by scandal. The danger is that the mayor and his team will grow complacent with power and become lazy.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg seems determined to avoid third-term blues. In his inaugural address last week, Bloomberg announced an intriguing idea. He will have the top deputy in every agency spend three weeks in another and then report back on ways to cut through the bureaucracy that stymies service improvements for and snuffs out innovation on behalf of taxpayers. This isn't a new concept. Bloomberg did this at the company he founded, Bloomberg L.P., where I once worked. But this very well could keep the third-term curse at bay by keeping his commissioners, many of whom are staying on for a third tour, and the mayor himself on their toes.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 5, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

This seems like a ridiculous, "shake things up for the lack of anything better to do" sort of MBA gimmick. The few people I've spoken to here in New York about it seem as mystified as I am.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

William Donald Schaefer did this too, when he was governor of Maryland. Had the cabinet switch jobs for a brief time...

Posted by: dhanks | January 5, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg announced an intriguing idea. He will have the top deputy in every agency spend three weeks in another and then report back on ways to cut through the bureaucracy...

Hm. Cross pollination.

Posted by: coqui44 | January 5, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

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