5:18 pm Jan. 28, 20131
Have you noticed that it's somehow not at all a big deal when Michael Bloomberg says something like "look at the ass on her," as he reportedly did in of front a New York magazine writer recently?
Partly this is because he's a lame duck. Sure, anything he does could conceivably be taken as (or made into) something of a reflection on Christine Quinn, his sort-of chosen candidate in the mayor's race, to whom the mayor's sometimes impolitic comments are more an indication of "silliness" than anything else. But really there's not much negative transactional value anymore, if there ever was, in such indiscretions.
But it just isn't a new thing for Bloomberg to talk like this, and the mayor's opponents have never succeeded in making his propensity for such remarks into a meaningful issue.
In 1996, he told The Guardian, "I am a single, straight billionaire in Manhattan. It's like a wet dream."
During the 2001 campaign, his opponents attacked him for allegedly fostering an atmosphere of hostility toward women at his company, culminating in a Hail Mary attack ad from Democrat Mark Green highlighting an alleged incident in which he told a woman at his company who had recently disclosed she was pregnant to "kill it."
After Bloomberg won the 2001 race, but before he was sworn in, New York magazine reported that he had a "needlepoint pillow beside his bed [that] reads, 'How Many Heterosexual Billionaires Are There, for Crissakes?'"
From Joyce Purnick's book: "An attractive woman would walk into the bullpen and the mayor would say 'nice tits' — he just couldn't help himself,' recalls one top aide."
Longtime political operative Charmian Neary—who filed a sexual harassment case against the New York State Assembly in the early 1990s—said she wasn't bothered by Bloomberg's latest reported comment, either.
She emailed me and said, "I don't care if Mike Bloomberg said 'look at the ass on her' in private conversation. Maybe the woman had a nice ass. Women have bigger battles to fight. Feminists are not anti-sex. Well, some of us aren't."
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