Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 14, 2014

De Blasio Has His Work Cut Out For Him

Everywhere I went today, I kept hearing variations on the same theme:

De Blasio is an idiot.

Heard it at Starbucks, heard it on the train, heard it in the elevator in my building, heard it at work - de Blasio is in over his head, we miss Bloomberg.

In the past, I might have defended Mayor de Blasio and pointed out Bloomberg's past foibles, including the "Go See A Broadway Show" debacle from the Bloomberg Blizzard of 2010.

But not anymore - two months into his mayorality, I see a politician who has already spent his political capital, has managed to piss off a good part of the city with his handling of yesterday's snow storm, is under attack and on the defensive for a questionable call to the police to help a political ally, and trails Governor Cuomo badly in popularity even in NYC.

Memes get set fast in politics and if Bill de Blasio is not careful, the meme will be set very, very soon that he is an idiot, a man in over his head who cannot manage the city.

Sure, the corporate press like the News and Post want to solidify that meme in people's heads.

But de Blasio has done almost everything in his power to help them out by fumbling first the fake UES snow crisis last month (apologizing for something he didn't need to apologize for), then badly screwing up yesterday's storm by failing to close schools and backing up his tone deaf chancellor when she said it was a beautiful day, of course schools were going to be opened.

Compounding the snow messes is the mini-scandal over the call de Blasio made to the police after a political ally and member of his transition team was arrested, a mini-scandal made worse by de Blasio's fumbling red-faced response to it.

After two months post-Bloomberg, you don't want to be walking around the city and overhearing people say "I miss Bloomberg!" but that's what I heard today.

Those statements are a direct result of the de Blasio administration's poor start these past two months.

De Blasio has his work cut out for him, erasing the memory of yesterday's snow debacle and restoring public confidence in his ability as mayor.

Here's hoping he starts soon.

33 comments:

  1. Not one student was injured yesterday. I think we should remember that.

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    Replies
    1. Sure - but the perception of the whole thing was a mess, so whether everyone got in and out safe or not is immaterial. This is politics we're talking about - it's all about perception and optics.

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  2. On a side note - my wife and I are both teachers. Here's a line one of her AP students shared with her and the class: "I'm not so insulted that they called school a shelter - I'm really insulted that they call that stuff food."

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    Replies
    1. Agree with both of those statements by your wife's student!

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  3. I certainly don't miss Bloomberg! That being said, Team De Blasio/Farina made a huge blunder and they're making things worse by arrogantly defending their decision (not to mention fibbing about the Nat. Weather Service prediction).

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    1. If I live to be as old as the 2,000 Year Old Man, I won't miss Bloomberg. I just didn't much like overhearing other people say that today.

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  4. One of our students fell on her face in front of our school while slipping in the snow on Thursday. A teacher got hit by a car while walking to school as well. (She is ok) Lastly, Bloomturd would have kept the schools open on Thursday if he was still mayor. Babysitting cares not who is the mayor!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the update - so the day was not injury-free.

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  5. Tempers are high. Parents are fed up. If I were DeBlasio I'd start making some changes to the school system sooner rather than later. People elected him to make change.

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    Replies
    1. To be fair, Farina came in during school year, unlike most other chancellors back in the days of the BOE, who would have been selected at the beginning of the year and stayed through even when a new mayor was elected. But yes, I agree. We need to see some articulation of policies soon.

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  6. Tweed is probably a hornets nest for both Mayor DeB and Mrs. Farina...they may be slowing down their gravy train...

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    1. Perhaps. But de Blasio should have had a plan going in to clean out that hornet's nest. Farina was not appointed until a few days before Walcott left. That certainly didn't help with cleaning out the hornet's nest.

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    2. You're right- deBlasio SHOULD have had a plan to clean out the hornet's nest, prior to officially taking office.
      Most administrations have their people in place, and are ready to hit the ground running. Never heard deBlasio say anything about eliminating Mayoral control, or what his vision was for the future of the NYCDOE. Seems as if he's employing the management by crisis style, rather than management by objective.

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    3. I would agree - management by crisis response, rather than crisis by objective. That's because he really has few core values - he ran as a "leftie" because that was the opening in the 2013 race. But his so-called "leftie" politics are as much expediency as anything else. We may see him move more to the center now that his poll numbers are falling and Cuomo is beating him by 16 percentage points in popularity.

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    4. If he doesn't want his administration to go up in smoke at this early stage of the game, deBlasio will have to move to the center, a la President Clinton.

      Yes, we do have "two cities" here in NYC, but deBlasio has to remember that in order to be an effective manager and politician, he has to play a balancing game of keeping all of his constituencies reasonably happy.

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  7. Time to start a betting pool for Farina's departure...

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    Replies
    1. After the statements she made before and after the snow storm, I would take the "under" on her making the entire four years of the de Blasio administration.

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    2. Wouldn't be surprised if she decides to leave at the end of this year, after the gaffes she made during this snowstorm.

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    3. We'll see. The press may go after her now, as they did with Cathie Black (though make no mistake, Farina is no Cathie Black.) Nonetheless, stupid statements like she made sometimes bake perceptions of public figures for good.

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    4. Well, Cathie Black was a successful publisher, but not an educator. Presumably, Ms. Farina is a successful educator, but will she be an effective manager? So far, Ms. Farina hasn't really appeared to put forth any vision of the direction that she wants to take the NYCDOE in going forward. So many issues haven't been addressed at this point by our new Chancellor.

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  8. I had no great love for our former Mayor, either. That's why I voted for Mr. deBlasio, hoping that he would change the way things were running in our city.
    So far, he's been a big disappointment, and it doesn't seem as if Carmen Farina will change things much at the DOE. Business as usual, it seems.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Nothing has changed where I am - lots of misery.

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  9. Truth is, these gaffes could all be forgotten in a week or two, depending on events. Fact is stranger than fiction. What Mayor has,done already with charters is a strong action. Hiring an educator for top job is,also strong. The # 2 at Tweed has also stepped down...another good sign. This Mayor is in office 6 weeks?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but so far, deBlasio doesn't appear to be doing anything about the perception that he's NOT a strong and decisive manager. He appears to go with whatever direction the wind is blowing, at this point. Doesn't look good about that phone call he made concerning the Bishop, either. Whether or not this call was an impropriety, it smacks of politics as usual.

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    2. I agree with second anon here - perception is the problem here and so far, the perception is that BdB is not that skilled at managing things. His perpetual lateness & inability to fill the positions in his administration in a timely manner add to this perception. And the bishop call is turning into a minor league scandal that they can't seem to put behind them.

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  10. If ,If, If-hey, guys-you can't fix stupid!!! This guy is way over his head. He is just a big dufess

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    1. Have to admit, his first six weeks are not impressing me all that much. We'll see where it goes from here. Looks like the pre-K w/ Cuomo is a loss. That's not a good sign overall for de Blasio's "progressive" agenda.

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  11. Yes we are all looking for change! It doesn't happen over night! However, morale among teachers is very low! We need a Contract! Get these crummy charter schools out of our Public School Buildings!

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    Replies
    1. Morale is super low. It feels like Bloomberg is still in office with Walcott still at Tweed. Hope this changes soon!

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