Mike Bloomberg Takes His Last Radio Victory Lap

“I like people,” the New York mayor said on the last radio show of his mayoralty. “Never walk into a building without shaking hands with the doorman.”

Michael Bloomberg at a press conference at City Hall on September 24, 2013.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Dec. 20, 2013, 3:53 a.m.

When you’re Mi­chael Bloomberg, cab­bies, truck drivers, and old ladies stop to yell at you on the street. They yell, Bloomberg said Fri­day morn­ing, to say thank you.

Fri­day marks the end of a New York City era. After 88 years on the air, WOR’s Gambling fam­ily ra­dio show bowed out Fri­day morn­ing. And for the last time, host John Gambling was joined by May­or Bloomberg. Bloomberg, by Gambling’s es­tim­ate, has ap­peared on the show on at least 500 Fri­days dur­ing his may­or­alty.

So for both guest and host, Fri­day morn­ing was leg­acy time.

“I think no one ex­pec­ted me to like people” be­fore be­com­ing may­or, Bloomberg told Gambling. “They don’t know how a guy that’s been in the fin­an­cial sec­tor would deal with parades or town meet­ings.” The may­or, not par­tic­u­larly thought of as Mr. Pop­u­list, said he has suc­cess­fully fought against that. “I like people,” he told Gambling. “Nev­er walk in­to a build­ing without shak­ing hands with the door­man.”

The may­or stressed his ac­com­plish­ments, and he pre­viewed a soon-to-be-re­leased re­port on the cam­paign prom­ises he’s kept dur­ing his three terms as may­or. He also got in a semi-dig at his suc­cessor when asked by Gambling about what Bloomberg’s biggest glob­al con­cern is. “Across the coun­try,” Bloomberg said, “rolling back edu­ca­tion re­forms is just a po­ten­tial dis­aster.” The hall­mark of May­or-elect Bill de Bla­sio’s plat­form is an edu­ca­tion agenda that moves dis­tinctly away from what Bloomberg car­ried out as may­or.

“What am I gonna do next Fri­day?” Bloomberg asked Gambling. The an­swer ac­tu­ally came pretty quickly: a po­lice gradu­ation ce­re­mony. From there, the may­or said he’ll be at­tend­ing Bill de Bla­sio’s in­aug­ur­a­tion be­fore head­ing to Hawaii for a couple days, then New Zea­l­and for around a week. And then?

“Then, back to work.”

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