We got some evidence last night that Norm may be right:
In an interview last night, Eva Moskowitz, the founder of Success Academy Charter Schools and a former city councilwoman, would not rule out a future primary bid against Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It’s possible. I have always been very open about my respect for public service. My hope is though that we can really move this city forward,” Ms. Moskowitz said on NY1’s Inside City Hall in a response to a question about her rumored mayoral ambitions.
“I grew up in New York in the 1970s and I remember what it was like when governmental services did not work very, very well and I’m hoping we can keep the forward movement that we have seen in the city,” she added.
“If the forward movement doesn’t happen to your satisfaction, would we see a Eva Moskowitz in a candidacy as early as 2017?” host Errol Louis asked.
“Anything’s possible,” Ms. Moskowitz answered. “I love kids, I love what I’m doing, it’s incredibly hard. I love working with teachers and principals, they are my heroes. They are very dedicated to children and it’s very impactful.”
There is a huge downside for Eva if she decides to run.
Success Academies will get the kind of public scrutiny it so far has mostly avoided.
There's nothing better than a run for a higher office like NYC mayor to shine some light on a person's business practices.
Plus a Moskowitz run wouldn't be a done deal by any means:
Ms. Moskowitz, a Democrat like Mr. de Blasio, could be a formidable candidate if she chose to run. She has access to the wealthy donors who help buoy her charter network and enjoys relatively strong name recognition among primary voters. More moderate Democrats who passed on Mr. de Blasio in 2013 could find a candidate to unite around in 2017.
Still, a Moskowitz candidacy would face significant hurdles. Knocking off an incumbent mayor is exceedingly difficult. Labor unions and left-leaning community groups hostile to Ms. Moskowitz–the types of organizations that specialize in pulling out the vote for low turnout primaries–would rush to Mr. de Blasio’s defense. Ms. Moskowitz failed to win a Manhattan borough president’s race in 2005–Mr. de Blasio, to date, has never lost an election.
There are a lot of public school advocates and teachers out there who aren't happy with de Blasio and Farina, but there's nothing like the prospect of a Moskowitz mayorality to help with a shift in perception around that.
My guess is, even people who aren't happy with de Blasio and Farina would rally around them if Moskowitz was the alternative.
But, if I had to bet today on a Moskowitz run, I'd say she doesn't run.
Besides the scrutiny she'd take over her personal finances and charter network finances, she'd have to take a huge pay cut and develop a relationship with the public that she's just not temperamentally suited for.
Moskowitz has A reputation for being one of the most unkind, self-centered people in politics (just ask some of the people who used to work for her - they'll tell you.)
I have difficulty seeing her overcome that temperament problem, even with the money she would no doubt have at her disposal for political ads and her campaign.
Still, you never know how things will turn out in politics.
Even last summer, early on, few people thought de Blasio really had a chance to win.
So I won't rule out the possibility of a Mayor Moskowitz completely.
But for now I think she's just assuaging her own ego with the City Hall talk.