When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.
The Bloomberg mayoral campaign is off and running with a $3 million media buy, those “soft” TV info-mericals pumping up the Bloomberg years. How many New Yorkers even know his possible opponents …William Thompson and Anthony Weiner? One would think that barring an unexpected term limit Appellate Court decision, Mike will coast to victory in November.
Let’s think back a couple of years … who would have thought that a first term Senator from Illinois, Chicago no less, an Afro-American with a Muslim middle name would be nominated and elected as President. It seemed absurd.
The voter demographic in this country, for many decades, has been an older demographic. The eighteen years olds did not register and those who did were irregular voters. In preparation for the 2000 election “Rock the Vote” and other organizations made a concerted effort to enroll new voters, with great success. The new voter turnout was substantial, and Gore almost won … however, Bush v Gore turned off those younger voters and in subsequent elections the older voter demographic pattern returned.
The Obama campaign changed the very face of campaigning. It mobilized younger voters and voters of color, it utilized the technology of the moment: Twitter and social networking. The result was an unparalleled turnout, a sea change in the election demographics: the Obama Effect.
Now, a year later, does the Obama Effect have legs? Will the Obama Effect, the politics of “change” impact the NYC mayoral election?
William (“Billy”) Thompson, is finishing his second term as Comptroller, he has steadfastly stayed out of the Bloomberg arc, and, has issued a series of reports, professional and critical of Bloomberg policies.
How long are the Obama coattails? Will the new voters of 2008 be the new voters of 2009?
The traditional soothsayers predict an easy Bloomberg victory: a huge dollar advantage, support by major media outlets (NY Post, NY Daily News, Wall Street Journal), the mantel of incumbency, etc.
Simmering beneath the surface is a New York that has evolved since the initial 2001 Bloomberg victory. Many more voters of color and many more younger voters, voters not tied to any party or any ideology.
Will the Gonzalez family, the Williams family, the Wong family: the families in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, hardworking families, kids in public schools who travel by bus and subway, trying to make a better life for themselves, will they vote for Mike?
The West Side Stadium and Congestion Pricing are prime examples of the Caesarian mayor: building a stadium for which the helots cannot afford to buy a ticket and bridge/tunnel tolls that would keep them out of Manhattan.
The evolution of the mayoral edeucation control controversy is another example of leadership arrogance. Parents, by clear policy, have been marginalized. No schools boards, no accessable/responsible superintendents, elected officials totally out of the school loop.
Why can’t my child go to the high school across the street from her house? Who do I call to answer a school question? Why is the school down the block closing? Will Bloomberg close my school?
Who holds the key? Who can heighten or lessen the mayoral control issue? Randi Weingarten might be able to.
Hanging out there: the NYC budget, the continuance of Joel Klein as chancellor, union mayoral endorsements, and, oh yes, the teacher union contract ends on November 30th.
Bloomberg has chosen to make mayoral control equal Bloomberg control.
Governor Patterson has single digit approval ratings, the term Majority Leader, appears to be an oxymoron in the NYS Senate. Will “Cardinal” Silver gather Mike and Randi and carve out the political future?
Will Randi and Mike reach some sort of “accommodation?” Or, will Randi and Mike square off? Or, in spite of whatever deal is made or not made, will the Obama voters roll to yet another victory?