Raymond Hernandez's New York Times story on the less than shocking news that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing Barack Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy made the front of both the New York edition (which figures) and the National edition on Friday, since all of America is evidently riveted by the opinions of NYC's mayor: "Storm Propels Bloomberg Into Obama's Corner ."
Along the way, Hernandez used the damage from the storm to push "climate change" on to the electoral agenda.
In a surprise announcement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and that as a result, he was endorsing President Obama.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men had 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 better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns had aggressively sought the mayor’s endorsement, in large part because they believed he could influence independent voters around the country. Mr. Bloomberg had recently signaled he would not make an endorsement, telling reporters several weeks ago that he had decided whom he would vote for, but that he was not sure he would share that decision with the public.
John Weaver, a prominent Republican political strategist, said the timing of the mayor’s endorsement was notable.
Even before the hurricane struck, Mr. Bloomberg had been concerned about climate change. He is the chairman of an organization called C40, a network of cities seeking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Yet until the storm, climate change had not been much of an issue in the presidential campaign. The topic did not come up during the three presidential debates, and the candidates have not provided detailed legislative or regulatory plans outlining their stances on the issue.
Since the hurricane, a number of elected officials have come forward, chiefly in New York, to say that they have concluded the planet is undergoing climate change, that huge storms are no longer freak occurrences but expectable reality, and that public policy must begin to prepare for the impact.
Hernandez concluded with an image of a "flustered" Romney camp.
Coming on the heels of Gov. Chris Christie’s public embrace of Mr. Obama, the endorsement by Mr. Bloomberg left aides to Mr. Romney a bit flustered, and they privately dismissed its importance.