Pile on: Why Bloomberg was hammered over snow removal

• The core of Bloomberg’s appeal — and of his self-image — is his supposed genius at management. On the flip side, he’s always been terrible at public empathy. So New Yorkers expect Bloomberg to handle the basics of civic-service delivery with speed and unparalleled competence — and when millions complained about going unplowed for days, Bloomberg responded in character, basically telling everyone to stop whining. That the mayor didn’t seem to know what was really going on in the streets, however, is inexcusable, but it’s related to one of the signature elements of his administration: Bloomberg trusts his commissioners to do their jobs and doesn’t meddle. This time he got burned, in part because one key deputy mayor, Stephen Goldsmith, is new to the city and to his job. (A digression: Bloomberg’s tone-deafness early in the week was aggravating if not surprising, but his words were on target in one respect — the sixth-largest snowfall in city history doesn’t go away overnight, and thousands of EMS, FDNY, NYPD, and DSNY workers have been busting their butts to make things better and to save lives. They seem to have gotten started a little late, but that was the boss’s call.)

• Nine years in, Bloomberg fatigue is building. The mayor’s tearing up of term limits emboldened critics; most recently, his surprise anointing of Cathie Black further roiled a school system that’s been subjected to near constant change for the past decade, and it stoked the feeling that the city is run by and for its Manhattan elites; and the quadrennial boomlet in Bloomberg presidential speculation — no matter how strenuously he denies interest — irritates New Yorkers who’d prefer he mind the local store instead of jetting off to Hong Kong.

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