I’m no longer a Manhattanite – after a decade of inflicting that upon myself, I packed up the family and escaped to the suburban nightmare I grew up in rather than pursuing the claustrophobic keeping-up-with-the-Upper-East-Side- Joneses nightmare I had adopted in my twenties.
So, no, I don’t get to vote for NYC’s next mayor…but I am interested.
Anthony Weiner would be my candidate (if I had one). Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s an unprincipled social climber and a poseur who will be photographed with anyone and pretend to care about anything if it makes him look good. Riding the subway, rolling up his sleeves talking to the deli guy, shaking hands with ethnic people in all the boros, riding a Citybike, etc – it’s like a montage you see in a movie about political campaigns.
But I don’t mind, I kind of like rooting for guys in his position to make a comeback. After all, he wasn’t an embezzler or a drug addict or taking bribes, his penis never did anything to me…
Anyway, he did nail the current New York City economy this week at a candidates’ debate moderated by Fox News’ Sally Kohn. Listen to this quote:
When Kohn asked the candidates to address their views on economic equity in the city, Weiner was the last to speak, and notably directed his response to the audience in the room — a group of professionals on the 50th floor of Manhattan’s Citigroup Center, a midtown skyscraper home to top hedge funds, consulting shops, and law firms — rather than his colleagues on stage.
“Can I just pause at the idea that the average New Yorker is poor today,” said Weiner. “So why should you care? You’re successful people. You’re professionals. You’re doin’ okay. Your firms, your companies, cannot sustain themselves just dealing with other rich people. You’re gonna run out of them sooner or later — there’s only so many oligarchs who are gonna by our apartments, there are only so many millionaires who are gonna sue each other.”
Which is probably the most honest thing he could have said in that room and something Bloomberg would never admit to out loud. he could probably win with that concept as his doctrine, although there’s pretty much no solution for it given the way the national economy now works (trickle-down on steroids).