Mayor Michael Bloomberg's approval rating is below 50% for the first time in five years, and a majority of voters say they disagree with the mayor's support for a proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero, a poll released Tuesday shows.These are significant numbers in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Nationwide disapproval for this mosque project are far higher, yet proponents of it just don't seem to get the fact people have valid reasons for opposing it. But why should Bloomberg care? He just bought himself another term as mayor and will surely be planting rumors in the next year that he's be mulling a White House run. It's what this supercilious snake does. He can't help but feed the ego.
The new poll comes amid controversy surrounding a proposal to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The mayor has passionately defended the organizers' rights to build there.
The poll from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion showed 49% of the city's registered voters believe the mayor is doing an excellent or a good job; 33% rate his performance as fair and 16% say he is doing poorly.
The mayor's approval rating declined in most categories of voters versus the last Marist poll, in April. The drop was particularly steep among Jewish voters, the overwhelming majority of whom oppose the mosque. The rating among Jews—historically a bloc of robust support—fell 15 percentage points to 58%. "The difference is significant," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist poll.
According to the poll, which surveyed 696 registered voters, 53% of city voters oppose constructing the center near Ground Zero, while 34% favor its development and 13% are unsure. One in five Jewish voters said they supported the mosque, while more than 70% opposed the project, according to the poll.
Form some odd reason his support among the GOP is higher than with Democrats, but we figure the meager sampling of identified Republicans in NYC skews that. He did, after all, once call himself a Republican out of political expedience.
To his credit, Governor Paterson seems to have a much better grasp on the issue than Bloomberg, but typically the clowns at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue play both sides.
In Washington, the State Department, which has tapped the imam behind the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, as a foreign envoy, insisted the Obama administration considered the project a local zoning matter for New York.These folks have declared war on Arizona, yet are now siding with and employing the imam behind this project.
But spokesman P.J. Crowley acknowledged that the department had posted a transcript of Mayor Bloomberg's Aug. 3 speech defending the project on a Web site, America.gov, for foreign audiences.
"We thought it was useful for people overseas to understand perspectives on this issue," Crowley said.
Whose side are they on? Some Republicans are wondering.
Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Peter King (R-NY), the ranking members of the Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees, called the State Department's funding of Rauf's trip "unacceptable," and said American taxpayers should not have to subsidize his tour.Funny, he doesn't seem so tolerant to most New Yorkers.
"The State Department's selection of Feisal Abdul Rauf to represent the American people through this program further calls into question the administration's policy and funding priorities," the statement said, noting the Imam has suggested in interviews that America was to blame for the September 11 attacks.
It's Rauf's third trip to discuss Muslim life in America and religious tolerance, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.
"We have a long-term relationship with him," Crowley said. "His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known, and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States."
Now where was the media to report the fact the White House has had a "long-term relationship" with Rauf months ago when this story first broke?