For all of the kvetching about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “nanny-state” crusades against smoking, trans fats, sodium, oversized sodas, Styrofoam containers and even bottle-feeding, there are scarce signs of a backlash in the campaign to replace him. Quinn is clearly embracing the mayor’s public-health agenda to appeal to his coalition of white and well-heeled voters, while her rivals have raised few objections. Even Bloomberg’s longtime adversary, Anthony Weiner, who once said that if elected he was “going to have a bunch of ribbon cuttings tearing out your (expletive) biking lanes,” has warmed up to the mayor’s cycling program.

“A lot of these public health initiatives have been good fodder for late night TV, but New Yorkers slowly have been giving a thumbs up to a lot of it,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which found Weiner inching ahead of Quinn in a recent poll. “If these nanny issues were big losers, you’d be hearing a lot more about it on the campaign trail.”…

In what the mayor’s office sees as validation of his agenda, the average life expectancy in New York City has increased to a record-setting 81 years, outpacing the national average. Bloomberg views protecting New Yorkers from lung cancer, heart disease and obesity in the same way he views protecting them from crime…

“The lesson is that the mayor was willing to be bold, willing to be experimental, willing to take on special interests, and he had a real impact,” said Howard Wolfson, the city’s deputy mayor. “We don’t govern by referendum.”