Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:45 am
By Alan Greenblatt
Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during an August news conference after officially opening the new Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park in Queens.
Credit John Minchillo / AP
Money mattered in Michael Bloomberg's case.
The billionaire's personal fortune (ranked 10th in the nation by Fortune) allowed him to bankroll his three runs for New York City mayor, freeing him to hire people he believed were the best and the brightest, rather than friends of donors.
His philanthropy also backed up the experiments he ran at City Hall — and allowed him to encourage other mayors to take similar tacks.
Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.
It's been a long year since Republicans vowed to rebrand their party as friendlier to women, minorities and younger voters. Even if its longer term problems remain, the party finds itself in surprisingly good shape going into the 2014 midterms.