The independent mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has just endorsed President Barack Obama for president of United States.
Bloomberg opened his editorial in Bloomberg View by saying his decision was affected by the effect Superstorm Sandy had on New York City. The country, he said, needs a leader who will tackle these issues.
In the past, Bloomberg writes, he may have well voted for Mitt Romney, who signed on to a cap-and-trade program in Massachusetts. But the Romney of today has changed his "sensible positions" on that and other issues like immigration, illegal guns, abortion and health care.
"When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties' nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America.
"One believes a woman's right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision.
"One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America's march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history.
"One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics."
The endorsement comes after Bloomberg Businessweek ran a cover with the headline "It's Global Warming, Stupid."
"Mr. Bloomberg's endorsement was largely unexpected. For months, the Obama and Romney campaigns have sought the mayor's endorsement, in large part because they believe he could influence independent voters around the country.
"Mr. Bloomberg has steadfastly withheld his support, largely because he had grown frustrated with the tone and substance of the presidential campaign – recently deriding as 'gibberish' the answers that Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney gave during a debate to a question about an assault weapons ban. He has expressed disappointment with Mr. Obama's performance over the past few years, and concern about what he has described as Mr. Romney's shifts in views over time."
Update at 3:29 p.m. ET. Obama 'Honored':
The Obama campaign has sent a statement saying the president is "honored" to have Bloomberg's endorsement.
"While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation - together. I look forward to thanking him in person - but for now, he has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger."