GOP leaders searching for a challenger to topple Mayor de Blasio in 2017 are so excited that Democratic charter-school champion Eva Moskowitz is weighing a run that they’re open to letting her enter the race as a Republican.
“I would be very excited about Eva running for mayor. Education is a top priority for the next mayor and Eva is eminently qualified to do that. She’s outstanding,” Adele Malpass, chair of the Manhattan Republican Party, said Monday.
Malpass said wealthy backers of charters are prepared to bankroll a Moskowitz campaign.
Moskowitz, who, as a member of the City Council chaired the Education Committee, is the founder and CEO of the city’s largest charter network, Success Academy. She has said she’s considering taking on de Blasio, but would need GOP permission to run as a Republican.
There's little chance Moskowitz could beat de Blasio in a Democratic primary - the unions and other key Democratic Party constituencies would make sure the anti-union Moskowitz would lose that contest.
That's why she has to run as a Republican, though even there she faces an uphill battle (and is a registered Democrat to boot):
Political insiders said de Blasio would be difficult to beat in a Democratic primary dominated by minorities, left-leaning voters and unions — unless he falters and an insurgent can chip into his base.
A challenger on the GOP line faces an even more daunting task, but former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he’s proof that a GOP fusion candidate with a reform agenda can beat the odds.
GOP county leaders can use a “Wilson Pakula” procedure under state law to allow a Democrat to run on the Republican line.
The practice has been frowned upon — particularly after two party leaders were convicted of scheming to sell the ballot line to former Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith.
Of course Eva could just change parties and become a Republican - hell, Mayor Mike changed parties more often than he changed tuxedos, so it's not like it hasn't been done before.
Even so, if the hedge fundies and charter school shills want to beat de Blasio in 2017, Eva isn't the best candidate to do it.
She's got baggage as head of the controversial Success Academies where diapers come as part of the school uniform (so that the kids can keep taking their practice tests instead of going to the bathroom, of course!) and she has sued to keep from being audited.
Couple the Success Academies controversies with her prickly personality and temperament (if the press thinks Bill de Blasio doesn't answer their questions, just wait until they got a load of Mayor Moskowitz gaggles) and you see how flawed she is as a candidate.
No, I actually think running charter school shill Hakeem Jeffries against de Blasio makes more strategic sense for the charter school operators.
Jeffries can eat into de Blasio's support among the black community, Mayor Bill's strongest supporters in the latest polling, while sucking up a lot of Wall Street cash and charter school donations to be able to run plenty of attack ads against de Blasio.
I suppose the charter shills could try and run Jeffries AND Moskowitz, with the idea that Jeffries softens de Blasio up in the primaries and Eva finishes him off in November, but that seems unlikely.
I think Eva, ego maniac that she is, loves the attention over whether she'll run for mayor and is using the story line to push her personal and charter school brand, but I'm skeptical that in the end she decides to actually run.
She makes an awful lot of money now as Success Academies Mistress, she and Success get limited scrutiny from media now that would change if she decided to run for mayor, and she really isn't the best pro-charter candidate to knock de Blasio off.
De Blasio could be vulnerable to a center-right pro-charter school candidate in a general election in November, but given her flaws, I don't think Eva Moskowitz is that candidate.
My money is on either Jeffries or Ruben Diaz Jr. to try and get the charter school operators and hedge fund managers to bankroll a primary challenge against de Blasio and to get a receptive audience from them, while Eva continues to make sounds like she's going to run but in the end bows out against a less controversial pro-charter figure to run in 2017.
But we'll see how it all plays out - you never know how things go in politics.
Donald Trump's massive poll lead among Republicans even as he beats up on FOX News and hedge fund managers is just the latest demonstration of that, isn't it?