Cuddling Michael Bloomberg

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been omnipresent on US television over the past week . As mayor of the largest city in the path of Hurricane Irene, he was necessarily very aggressive in communicating a plan to keep people in New York City safe.  It seems to me that if people didn’t get the message the man was putting out there, they weren’t listening.

This isn’t about messaging, storm surge or evacuation. It’s bigger than those things.

Stand By Your Man

Mayor Bloomburg and some very close advisers. Advisers who are very close. (image via

Responding to a crisis such as a hurricane is a team effort. The mayor can’t evacuate people; I don’t think he is going to restore anyone’s utilities. Mayors have their trusted people that they rely on, just like the rest of us.

Unlike some people I have worked for, Bloomberg seems to be good about showing that the people around him are the ones who truly make the wheels turn. At every press conference, he has some of those people gathered around him.

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Besides the conclusion that the mayor of New York understands something about leadership that some bosses don’t, I have been able to reach one other conclusion about Michael Bloomberg. The man has no need for personal space. At every press conference, he has his people with him, but they are right on top of him. They are on the man like a prom date.

Reaction of two people whose personal space ar...

You forgot I told you to have the podium moved up, didn't you? (Image via Wikipedia)

Why? Is this the mayor’s preference? New York is a big city that generates a lot of money. Money that could be used to upfit the press conference room with a deeper stage. Why hasn’t anyone looked at this and realized how ridiculous it appears?

If I were the mayor of New York, I too would have my best people on the job with me. When I took to the podium to tell everyone how it would be, I’d have those people with me so that the people could tell I had the best minds involved in coming up with my decisions. But if I got up on the podium and I could feel my best people were in my personal space like Bloomberg’s are, I’d have to stop the press conference. I’d stop the press conference and I’d have to tell them, “either back up off me, or find someone to move this damned podium forward”.

But hey, what do I know? I’ve never been a mayor. Maybe that job makes you need your people to cuddle you. For now, I’ll just be glad my people are behind me.

Figuratively behind me.


26 Comments on “Cuddling Michael Bloomberg”

  1. Laura says:

    It could be an optical illusion. Maybe the podium is positioned several yards from the wall, and his aides are both larger and farther away than they appear.

  2. Maybe he’s really paranoid and they are his secret service guys?

  3. Spectra says:

    And the guy directly cuddled behind his left ear looks about to nod off too. Maybe looking exhausted is part of the Image; “we are working hard round the clock to protect you and we know what we’re doing” (?)

    • omawarisan says:

      “…directly cuddled behind his left ear.” Nicely done!

      You may be on to something. I’m going to start getting the people I supervise to say things like “Oma is wearing me out” whenever they are in the office so my boss thinks I’m kicking their butts.

  4. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Many of us are born with this gene – called the Holiday photo gene – which pushes us to squeeze in as closely as we can so as not to be left out of the photo. What your photo doesn’t show are the 15 other poor slobs who tried to fight their way into the picture but were beaten back by the more aggressive three. Those 15 slobs are offstage whimpering and complaining, vowing that the next time they’ll arrive sooner and have their mace with them.

    On another note, have you ever noticed in old TV shows and commercials that whenever a family is shown sitting around a dinner table, they’re all squeezed into one end of the table, leaving a vast expanse of perfectly good table unused. This has always bothered me so much so that I can’t pay any attention to the conversation and instead imagine that lonely part of the table with no placemats or food. Or, perhaps, crazy Uncle Ferd is sitting over there.

  5. Blogdramedy says:

    Actually, if you look closely at that first photo, it looks like they are so close they are wearing the same black suit. It’s not that the Mayor wants them that close…they’re conjoined quadruplets and where he goes, they go. And I’ll say this…he has one hell of a tailor. 🙂

  6. jacquelincangro says:

    When you live in a city of 8 million people, one’s personal space requirements are really low. As long as someone’s not sitting in your lap, you become quite adept at ignoring their existence.

    PS: Oma, you have my vote for next mayor of NYC!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps media consultants have suggested this as one way of appearing to be one of the regular people. There is a certain “crammed together in a subway car” look to it, and every crowded subway car has at least one angry leprechaun.

  8. Todd Pack says:

    I’ll bet that guy on the right’s a lot of fun at parties. Not really.

  9. Debbie says:

    Maybe the concept of individual space is crowded out when you have to live and move in a city of so many. Interesting that they’re almost the same height — minus the snoozing guy on the far left (the photographer probably told him to duck, or he’d be missing the top half of his head!)

  10. Betty says:

    Interesting observation. Never thought about that. When your post title mentioned Bloomberg, I thought it might be something different. Three separate friends on facebook who live in NYC mentioned that they thought he needed some better Spanish lessons.

    • omawarisan says:

      I just saw on the news that someone had a twitter account making fun of his Spanish. I just saw a sample of it…unbelievable. Why not let someone else do it?

  11. Jane says:

    I’ve always noticed the group of people lined up behind whoever is holding the conference. I wonder if each one called a loved one and announced with pride that “I will standing behind so and so. Be sure to watch!”

    Who gets chosen to be there? Is it always people that have something to do with the emergency? It could be that the names of people who bring donuts to the office on Monday have their names dropped in a box for a special drawing, and whoever is chosen is asked to stand behind the important person.

    Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one who watches “those who stand solemnly” on TV.

  12. Pie says:

    They’re auditioning for Stuck On You – The Sequel. Kinnear and Damon weren’t available.

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