He was 25 in the mid 1960s, meaning that he saw a lot of discrimination. He handled that the way we want people to handle it, from within the system. He was Chief of Staff to Mayor Dinkins, and along with Norman Steisel, basically ran City Hall from 1989 to 1993. No matter what you feel about his politics or how he handled City Hall during the Dinkins years, he approached public policy the right way.
The years that Dinkins was mayor may not go down in history as the city’s best. The economy was weak nationally; there was racial strife. Dinkins was still in the shadow of Ed Koch, while trying to develop his own political identity at City Hall.
People like Lynch are important to any city administration. Rudy Giuliani had Peter Powers as his right-hand man. Mike Bloomberg had a few “besties,” but I would say Ed Skyler was the most important.
It makes you wonder who the top candidates for mayor this year have as their “go-to” people. These top advisors are pivotal to an administration, as they do a lot of the behind-the-scenes preparation.
Regardless of what history says about any administration, it takes yeoman’s work to run City Hall. It is a place where there are so many moving parts to this complex city that success can be allusive. Bill Lynch remained relevant in New York City (and national) politics for a long time, and to that we tip our hats.
Stringer Can Still Win
Although the Republican Party is running an impressive candidate for comptroller in John Burnett, all of the attention so far has been on the Democratic primary.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was supposed to breeze through this process. He was supposed to win the general election, as well. But enter Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer is a known quantity throughout the city, Stringer is not. A Manhattan borough president is usually best known in Manhattan. But Stringer should be getting party support from all over the place. He did, after all, take himself out of the mayor’s race to be a team player.
Spitzer is outspending him, which should come as no shock since Spitzer has a lot of his own money. The primary voters may see things differently, however.
Stringer can still win this primary next month, but his strategy of “taking off the gloves” and going after Spitzer’s dubious past may not be a wise move. He could make Spitzer look sympathetic.
Primaries, unfortunately, are about parties more than they are about the city itself. Party Democrats do not need to be reminded of what Governor Spitzer did. They need to be reminded of the sacrifice Stringer made for his party.
For registered Democrats, all 2.8 million of them, Stringer might be the safer bet. If Stringer can stay relevant in this race for another month and get some visible party support, the money Spitzer is spending may not matter as much.