As a New Yorker, I count myself among those stunned at Michael Bloomberg's close call last night. And I certainly find it satisfying to see a billionaire spend a $100 million on an embarassment-tainted victory. The way Bloomberg overturned term limits and seemed to buy off supports with philanthropic wealth was in some way anti-democratic.
That said, this city has held up pretty well in hard times. Despite a huge loss in tax revenue over the past year, basic services like the sanitation and the subway aren't noticeably inadequate. Crime and vandalism remain amazingly low. Bloomberg is taking admirable steps to make the city more green, and friendly to pedestrians and bikers. (Have you seen the pedestrian mall on Broadway yet?) Finally, what I saw of Bill Thompson left me totally underwhelmed. So I consider last night an ideal outcome: I'm glad Bloomberg got some comeuppance, but I'm also glad he won.