Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Mayor and His Word

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Mayor and His Word

Article excerpt

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City preempted his critics recently by issuing a scorecard on how well he's fulfilled his campaign promises since taking office two years ago.

Out of a whopping 380 promises made in 2001, Mr. Bloomberg said 80 were complete, 224 were ongoing, or just about to be started; 55 weren't yet begun, and 21 (some of which the mayor admitted turned out to be bad ideas) had experienced "flip-flops."

Bloomberg's immense personal wealth affords him a freer sense of public self-criticism (his livelihood doesn't depend on his mayoral salary). Still, voters can respect his honesty and openness as long as his scorecard announcement doesn't carry a whiff of political machination.

Judging an elected leader's work simply by the numbers, however, isn't always sufficient. Not all promises carry the same value. Nonetheless, in making this semi-confessional, semi-boasting announcement, the mayor offered up a useful model for other elected leaders. …

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