The strongholds of municipal liberalism are gone; the coalition of immigrants, unionists, poor people, and neighborhoods has been replaced by alliances between tough-on-crime Republican mayors and organized business. But the seeds of a revival are there.
New York, like Los Angeles, now has its new mayor; that's the bad news.
Seldom has a city elected a leader about whom it knew less or who seemed to know
less about his city. Their mutual ignorance--New York's of Michael Bloomberg,
Michael Bloomberg's of New York--seems almost total. In the course of his
campaign, Bloomberg said nothing whatever to indicate how he'd govern, save that
he'd try to follow in Rudy Giuliani's footsteps. And in Los Angeles, new Mayor
James Hahn most certainly knows L.A., but L.A. knows less about him now than when
he was a candidate. Five months into his term, ducking decisions and staying
largely out of public view, Hahn has done virtually nothing to indicate how he's