New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg closed out his 12 years in office on New Year's Eve with a subway ride home, cheerfully bantering with reporters about Chinese food, the Grand Canyon, and—of course—Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took his place at midnight. The last few days have been something of a victory lap for Bloomberg, who has enjoyed an inundation of praise from supporters. But Bloomberg's long tenure has been mottled with controversy, and his legacy is, at this stage, difficult to evaluate. De Blasio successfully campaigned on a platform diametrically opposed to Bloomberg's Wall Street-friendly economic policies, revealing deep discontent among New Yorkers with the former mayor's business-oriented approach to taxes and regulation. (Bloomberg responded with some discontent of his own.)
Yet New Year's Eve found Bloomberg sunny and upbeat, clearly enjoying his last moments in the mayoral limelight. His easy badinage, however, halted when the topic of Mayor De Blasio arose; after some qualified praise, Bloomberg seemed to retreat back to talking points. From Politicker:
Another reporter pressed the mayor about whether he knows what Mr. de Blasio believes in.
“I think he’s a really nice guy, cares about people. Very liberal, a lot of people would say that,” he said. “We’ll see, but I would think he’d do a good job. And the city, he’s got a great hand to ride, so that’s a nice thing: balanced budget, record tourism, record schools, record low crime, record life expectancy,” said the mayor, ticking off his accomplishments. “Tomorrow’s gonna be an interesting day, it’s gonna be a better day than today. Everyday I’ve always thought that. And it’s just different” he said.
Once Bloomberg reached his home, he bade reporters farewell with buoyant "buenas noches," then closed the door once and for all on his years in public office.