The December snowstorm that paralyzed New York City has plowed into Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political reputation, The Wall Street Journal reports
. Bloomberg’s approval rating hit a new low, 37 percent, and more than 7 in 10 New Yorkers criticized his handling of the blizzard in an NY1-Marist poll conducted last week.
Bloomberg himself has panned the city’s efforts to cope with two feet of snow after initially defending the response. His image as a capable manager, which is a key to his appeal, will endure still more scrutiny this week as department heads testify in hearings to determine what went wrong.
“Obviously, he’s concerned about his legacy, as anyone would be, and this [snowstorm] will have a big effect on that,” said City Council member Peter Vallone, a Democrat who endorsed the Republican-turned-independent Bloomberg for a third term in 2009.
The billionaire media executive won acclaim in his first two terms by streamlining city finances, overhauling public schools, and banning smoking in bars and restaurants. But recent stumbles, including the snow debacle and a furor over his choice for schools chancellor, have left Bloomberg, 68, with some political repair work to do.
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