His style appears to have sparked such an electoral backlash that an unreconstructed Marxist who ran in open rejection of the last two decades of municipal wisdom was able to win almost 70 percent of the vote in a city that should know better. Yet Bloomberg does not appear to feel chastened. Instead, as his term has petered out, he has merely shifted his gaze, resolving calmly that if he can no longer be the King at home, then he will become the Kingmaker abroad. A recent Time cover story simply titled “Michael Bloomberg Wants to Be Mayor of the World” laid out the path the mayor intends to take in retirement, which among other things includes spending $400 million of his own money to support Planned Parenthood, fund gay-marriage initiatives at the state level, and “back candidates who would further gun control and education.” Eight million subjects have not proven enough for the man they nicknamed Napoleon. The wider empire beckons.
Thus far, however, Bloomberg has had little in the way of success. In September, he poured $350,000 into fighting two pro-gun recall efforts in the state of Colorado. He failed. Mocked by the NRA for “wasting his money,” and by conservatives who observed with glee that a grassroots effort led by a plumber managed to unseat the sitting state-senate president and radically shift the balance of power in Denver, Bloomberg put on a brave face and declared victory anyway. But his indignation didn’t ring true. Angela Giron, one of the two state senators who were removed from office, had told The New Republic before the vote that if Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns were to “lose even one of these seats, they might as well fold it up.” “They understand that,” Giron said.