Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ouch! Bloomberg Brand Gets 'Bump'd'

NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg might need a CAT scan after hitting one behemoth of a speed bump placed unceremoniously outside his 79th Street mansion for the past five weeks. With a team of reporters monitoring his every move – probably in anticipation of a potential run for president – Bloomberg unwittingly skewered both his chances of pushing through his much-beloved plan for instituting congestion pricing to curb Manhattan's gridlocked streets AND his 'Regular Rich Guy' brand.

In pulling the first big-time 'gotcha' of the 2008 campaign (aside from the Clinton/Edwards open mike moment), Michael M. Grynbaum's crisply-written Times front pager, "A Mayor Who Takes the Subway — by Way of S.U.V." features the above photo of the “MetroCard mayor" walking briskly to one of two gleaming, black Chevrolet Suburbans, presumably waiting to drive the mayor to a subway station some twenty blocks from his Upper East Side home to catch an express train to City Hall. Ashton Kutcher could not have designed a better episode of "Punk'd" than this political moment. Simultaneously shredding the Bloomberg brand's greenish tint - and his "Regular Subway Joe" political visage – this episode is likely to linger in the minds of New Yorkers long enough to bump his brand out of contention for any post-mayoral office for a great while to come.

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