First, the mayor likened that state senators up in Albany, whose squabbling effectively took control over New York City schools that the mayor fought so hard to get and turned it back over to the Board of Education, to a bunch of Nazis.
Initially, it was a much more subtle dig. During his weekly radio interview, the mayor said it was pointless to try and negotiate issues like mayoral control, and used the example of Neville Chamberlain. Now, for those of you not up to date on your British history, Chamberlain was the prime minister who tried to appease the Nazis through negotiations and engagement. We know how that turned out.
The whole thing might have blown over, but some senators took offense, and a plucky New York 1 reporter ran with it, telling the mayor at a recent Q&A that some senators felt the mayor compared them to Nazis, to which the mayor replied "I certainly did."
A spokesperson for the mayor later said that Bloomberg didn't hear the question correctly, but it didn't take long for the ball to get rolling, and on Tuesday, Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Councilman Bill de Blasio, who is running for citywide office this year, aanounced a press conference denouncing the mayor's remarks. As far as we know, the mayor has never likened either one of them to Nazis, but if there is a Denouncement Train leaving the station, best to hop on and not get left behind.
That press conference was eventually cancelled, after the mayor personally called the pair and convinced them that is really was an honest mistake. Denouncement averted!
Now, making a reference to the Holocaust in any situation is never a good political move, but it just might be trumped by uttering that other "N" word. Check out what Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney had to say Monday when talking about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whose seat she plans to challenge in a primary against the wishes of her own Democratic Party:
"It's the NRA, it's immigration, it's all these other things. In fact, I got a call from someone from Puerto Rico, said [Gillibrand] went to Puerto Rico and came out for English-only [education]. And he said, 'It was like saying n-r to a Puerto Rican.' I don't know-I don't know if that's true or not. I just called. I'm just throwing that out. All of her-well, what does she stand for?"
Holy...! Now, maybe Maloney was just showing that she likes to keep it real on the hard streets of the Upper East Side (okay, she also represents the largest public housing project in the country, but mostly the Upper East Side), and isn't some know-nothing upstate politician who got handed her job by the governor.
But what the hell!
You know the spin doctors in Maloney's camp went into to full-blown crisis mode once that quote hit the Interweb. Here's what they came up with:
"I apologize for having repeated a word I find disgusting. It's no excuse but I was so caught up in relaying the story exactly as it was told to me that, in doing so, I repeated a word that should never be repeated."
So, everybody just lay off of Maloney. The person you should be upset at is some insensitive Puerto Rican person with Maloney's cell phone number.
Gillibrand was supposed to make an appearance in Queens that same afternoon, but didn't show up, claiming she was suddenly called away on important business. Yeah, right. After she heard what Maloney said we think she went to her nearest watering hole and kicked a few back and called it a day. Getting elected is going to be easier than she thought.