TCS Daily

The Bloomberg Upset, Nine Attorneys General Make a Colossal Mistake, and Aesthetic Pleasures

By James K. Glassman - November 7, 2001 12:00 AM

DALLAS, Nov. 7 -- The half-moon hung over the gorgeous Dallas skyline like, what? A half-piece of silver pie (words, obviously, fail me). And today it`s a beautiful morning. We awoke to the news that Mike Bloomberg is the next mayor of New York City. What an upset! Bloomberg built a fabulous business. When you enter the lobby of the Bloomberg offices on Park Avenue, you are nearly blown away by the charge of energy that emanates from dozens of smart folks, crammed into little cubicles, rushing around, being enthusiastic.

When I met Bloomberg many years ago in this setting, he had an office on the floor like everyone else. My friend Arthur Levitt, the former SEC chairman, who has met lots of important people in his life, told me not long ago that Bloomberg was the most remarkable person he`d ever encountered. (Levitt is on Bloomberg`s board, but he is an honest guy, and this is high praise.)

As for Mark Green, it was a humiliating defeat. Green, with whom I debated a few times on Crossfire, is a lightweight as a politician. A nice guy, but that`s not enough to win in New York -- especially when Rudy Giuliani, the most popular politician in America, is backing your opponent. Where will Rudy go now? He has been a huge help to Republicans -- though Earley and Schundler lost yesterday -- and he has a magnificent future, but where?

Nine Attorneys General Make a Big Mistake

The futures of attorneys general of the nine states (out of 18 plus Washington, D.C.) that have decided to reject the settlement fashioned between the federal government and Microsoft -- those futures may be dimmer. I guess that folks like Dick Blumenthal of my home state of Connecticut or Bill Lockyer of California figure that they have come this far. But what a mistake! Consumers are smart enough to know that Microsoft has been a boon to them -- bringing lower PC prices and faster and better computing. They also know that this lawsuit has cost them, as investors, literally hundreds of billions of dollars. It is time for it to end -- and, in return, for voters to send these AGs packing.

The Concorde and Virginia Postrel

Also this morning, the Concorde took off from Paris on its first commercial flight since a freak crash 15 months ago. Great to see it flying again. It may not make business sense, but it certainly makes aesthetic sense -- something we shouldn`t forget. In that regard, last night I had dinner with my friend Virginia Postrel and her husband Steve, who teaches economics here at SMU. Virginia is former editor of Reason magazine and author of "The Future and Its Enemies." She`s now working on a book about technology and aesthetics, which will probably be out in about a year. If it`s half as good as her first book, it will be brilliant. Long live, aesthetics -- especially on this beautiful Dallas morning.

TCS Daily Archives