At a Seattle mayoral forum back in July, several of the candidates mentioned New York City's Michael Bloomberg as a model of the kind of mayor they'd want to be.* Not that any of them had the financial resources to match Mayor Bloomberg's performance in office:
An analysis by The New York Times shows that Mr. Bloomberg has doled out at least $650 million on a wide variety of perks and bonuses, political campaigns and advocacy work, charitable giving and social causes, not to mention travel and lodging, connected to his time and role as mayor. (His estimated tab for a multiday trip to China, with aides and security in tow: $500,000.)
In the process, he has entirely upended the financial dynamics surrounding New York’s top job.
In the past, the city paid its mayor; Mr. Bloomberg paid to be the city’s mayor.
Bloomberg's tenure wasn't all bad, but it's hard not to characterize it as a triumph of capitalism over democracy, and a dangerous precedent for a nation headed toward ever-more-staggering wealth inequality.
* FYI, newly-elected Seattle Mayor Ed Murray named former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell as a model of effectiveness, I guess because Rendell wasn't divisive or anything.