With any of the criticism that could be levied on Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, they made the city run properly after decades of machine politics and through periods of tragedy. Not all went perfectly, but there has been a wave of independent leadership in both of these two mayors that the city risks losing. The next great mayor does not have to come from any particular party, but the unfortunate part is that there is no noise coming from one of the city’s major parties.
It is late in 2011, and there are no rumblings of interesting Republican candidates. The Democrats, even with Anthony Weiner out of the scene (for now) and Comptroller John Liu defending the ethics of his last campaign, have a line-up of candidates. Speker Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio are all possibilities.
Some of these folks blend into one another when it comes to policy, which suggests that there is an opportunity for an alternative candidate to enter the race.
If the Republican Party in New York City is going to find a candidate for mayor, it will most likely not come from the county leadership. The party may not be strong enough to launch a real challenge for City Hall.
If the GOP wants to avoid running little-known political locals or a bewildered newbie, they need to look outside the political universe. The way Giuliani and Bloomberg emerged as serious candidates is the same way a new candidate will have to emerge to make a serious challenge.
There are already some members of the business sector showing interest, but business executives can be weak as political candidates – with Bloomberg being the exception. It is my belief that in the next few months, a real candidate will need to emerge for the party, or it will be a one-party race that gets decided in the primary in 2013.
If You Can Make It Here
Governor Andrew Cuomo has managed to engineer a very successful first year in Albany, and this means that it is time to start looking at him as a potential presidential contender. Granted, it has only been one year and he followed an unsuccessful administration, but good results are good results.
We know the Republican Party will have a strong line-up for the White House in 2016. Their entire bullpen of candidates has sat out this cycle, preparing for 2016 (Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and John Thune, to name a few).
The Democratic Party, however, has what sports people would call an aging team. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are going to be hovering around 70 years of age, which might be an issue.
Cuomo, according to a recent Marist poll, is considered a good leader by 75 percent of New York residents, and seventy percent of residents have a favorable opinion of him. He comes from a very important state with a lot of electoral heft.
His father considered a run in 1992, even having a plane ready to head to New Hampshire. Mario Cuomo chose not to take off from the runway, but this Cuomo will definitely be landing in the Granite State when the time comes.
A Luddite on Cyber Monday
Many writers love to refer to themselves as “Luddites,” meaning that they have no technological acumen. But this is overstated, and used more as a trendy identity, the same way that super models love to tell you that underneath it all, “I’m really a dork who stays home all the time.”
A colleague who writes for a national Catholic-skewed newspaper prides himself on not knowing how to use technology, yet he tells us this through email, which suggests the opposite. The point is that we mid-thirty to mid-forty year olds are slower to understand the cyber universe. Some of us are simply slower, some embrace the challenge, and others get into trouble by not realizing the finality of it all.
As a person who once told a college professor that “this electronic mail thing is never going to catch on,” it is fair to say that I have been won over by at least one aspect of techno-change, and that is shopping.
It goes against political wisdom to encourage online shopping, since stores need to survive to keep the economy rolling, but shopping online is tailor made for some of us, especially men who do not see shopping as an event.
Cyber Monday, with all of the risk of identity loss, is still a worthwhile pursuit. When a guy can map out a Christmas gift list and purchase most of it during half-time of a football game, it is fair to say that technology has won out.