Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio, he of the "Tale of Two Cities" campaign, spent all yesterday meeting with the oligarchs of the city, including having a private and secret meeting with NY Post publisher Rupert Murdoch, NY Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other members of the New York plutocracy.
The de Blasio campaign is sending out the message that de Blasio was simply meeting with the plutocrats to tell them he will not back down from his campaign pledge to break the inequality that has brought about the "Tale of Two Cities" divide in New York, a problem he has spoken so eloquently about all during the mayoral campaign.
But some of us wonder if that's what he was doing, why keep the meeting with Murdoch, Zuckerman, Blankfein, et al. secret?
What's to hide if he was simply laying down the law to the plutocrats that the times they are a changing and they either get with those changes or get swept away?
Might it be that de Blasio didn't actually send that message to the plutocrats, that instead there was another message sent which was meant to assuage the nervousness and anxiety of a bunch of rich white guys who have had their own way with the city for the last 20 years?
Call me a conspiracy nut if you will, but I have to admit, my "Hmmm..." meter goes up when I hear de Blasio has been having secret meetings with Rupert Murdoch and Mort Zuckerman even as he's holding fundraisers with the rich and well-heeled across the city, hitting them up for the maximum contributions while they have tea and crumpets with Dante and Dad.
Now I don't know what was discussed at the de Blasio/plutocrat meeting, but I suspect there were no policy particulars talked about.
Rather, I suspect that the boys at that meeting (and they were all boys unless Kathryn Wilde was there too) had a frank and honest discussion about what the phrase "campaign rhetoric" means and how campaign rhetoric often gets forgotten in the heat of governing.
While we can't know exactly what was discussed at the de Blasio/plutocrat meeting, we can get a sense of how the plutocrats received the message.
The NY Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has been hammering de Blasio heavily for the last few weeks, calling him everything from Sandanista Bill for his work with a Jesuit-relief group in Nicaragua in the 1980's to going after his father's suicide.
If the tone of the de Blasio coverage in the Post changes from heavy hammer job to a softer, more gentle approach, you will know that what Rupert Murdoch heard de Blasio tell the plutocrats at the de Blasio/plutocrat meeting made Rupert Murdoch feel better about Bill de Blasio.
The Post coverage of Cuomo often follows this trajectory as well.
They run suck-up pieces about Cuomo when he's doing what they want, they go after him when he's doing stuff they don't like.
Now that de Blasio has met and had a frank discussion with Rupert and his fellow plutocrats, that pattern of Post coverage will play out with Sandanista Bill.
If we suddenly get more measured coverage from the Posties, you will know that de Blasio sold you out.