Joyce Purnick, New York Times columnist and the author of Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, is once again taking questions about the mayor! Today, though, she's handed a doozy: "Does he do anything for pleasure at all?" a reader named "Coleman" asks. "From here, it looks as if his life consists entirely of power games: racking up money, giving away money, acquiring power, using power, holding power. He has done many worthwhile things, but there is something driven and seemingly empty about the process as a whole. Is there anything that he likes doing other than work?" Good question, Coleman!
He loves golf, and he used to love piloting his own planes and snowboarding. He loves popcorn, peanut butter, salt, bacon, chicken, hot dogs and red wine. He avidly reads newspapers and business publications, famously has no patience for movies, is not into group sports as a participant or, except to wave the flag for the home teams, as a spectator. He is driven — always has been, from what I have been able to discern. Making grand gestures — taking risks, succeeding at them, or at least making the effort (creating and marketing his information machine in his business days, and as mayor going after the Olympics, congestion pricing, the smoking ban, taking on illegal guns) seems to energize him more than anything else. What gives him joy? The answer to that question continues to elude me.
This may sound crazy, but for a brief moment there, we actually felt bad for the mayor. Who'd have imagined!