Michael Bloomberg made headlines over the weekend by warning that the weakness of the U.S. economy could lead to riots.
"We have a lot of kids graduating college, can't find jobs. That's what happened in Cairo," said the New York mayor during his weekly radio show on WOR. "That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want these kind of riots here."
Cairo? Arab Spring? Did Bloomberg mean to suggest that pro-democracy uprisings are a bad thing? That unemployed young people should have refrained from taking part? Has our mayor now been in office so long that he feels a bond with Hosni Mubarak?
What Bloomberg seemed to really be talking about was the importance of passing President Obama's jobs plan. But mentioning the r-word was a critical error. Mayors of large cities should not say "riot" unless there is one. Period.
The New York Post reported that after Bloomberg's remarks, unnamed mayoral aides called the mayor's choice of words a "euphemism." ("Riot" is only a euphemism when it's linked with "laugh.") The aides also pointed out that in 2009, when Bloomberg was fighting for renewal of legislation that gives him control of the city's schools, he predicted there would be "riots in the streets" if Albany didn't comply.
You're not in a good place, politically, when your aides are defending you by reminding reporters that you predicted widespread urban violence if the state legislature went the wrong way on school governance.
We've spent a lot of time over the last year discussing what's gone wrong with Michael Bloomberg. But let's be honest. The problem is clear. The man's burned out. He's been doing this job too long, talking too long, straddling the Republican and Democratic parties too long.
Repeat after me: No more third terms. No more third terms.