Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, January 16, 2015

Too Early To Write Off De Blasio

There was a lot of consternation that Mayor Bill de Blasio was being destroyed by the outright hostility many NYPD officers and the police unions were showing toward him in the past few weeks, but a new Quinnipiac poll suggests protesting cops may have overplayed their hands:

By overwhelming margins, New York City voters objected to the back-turning protests and work slowdown that have roiled the Police Department, an auspicious turn for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he seeks to end weeks of open tensions between officers and City Hall.

A poll released on Thursday revealed deep dismay — across racial, gender and geographic lines — over the tactics and incendiary statements of protesting officers, and a desire to discipline those who deliberately made fewer arrests.

For Mr. de Blasio, who had initially appeared beleaguered as he confronted a rebellion within law enforcement, the poll offers vindication of his strategy of waiting out police protests and refusing to apologize for his efforts at reform.

In their zeal to show the mayor he had neglected them, leaders of police unions appear to have overplayed their hand, giving Mr. de Blasio a key advantage by alienating a public accustomed to years without such explosive tensions in the ranks.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, comes as Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, faces growing challenges from members who believe he has gone too far in his attacks on City Hall.

The Times article goes on to say that de Blasio purposely didn't engage publicly with the police unions or critics, telling his aides that he trusted the "public’s judgment on how people conduct themselves.”

There's no overall approval/disapproval in the poll on de Blasio - just on Commissioner Bratton (who is up 12 percentage points to 56% approval.)

And you can bet there's some lasting damage from this battle that de Blasio will probably never be able to undo.

But any politician or former politician looking to exploit the battle between the NYPD and de Blasio - including one Eva Moskowitz and one Harold Ford - must understand that de Blasio is a lot wilier and skilled at politics than he appears on the surface.

Many pols facing what de Blasio faced in the last month might have panicked in response to the crisis.

De Blasio didn't, he let Bratton handle a lot of the public relations and he looks like he may have weathered the crisis - at least for now.


  1. Your post is underpinned by a recent report by Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman at Democracy Now. Gonzalez reports that Lynch is facing oppositionj for leadership of the PBA for the first time since 2003, with it centered on the changing demographics of the NYPD. The number of Black, Latino and Asian officers, many of whom have been victimized by broken windows law enforcement, has increased, weakening Lynch's position.

    1. It's interesting, but I saw a more conciliatory statement out of Lynch today, post-Q poll. Perhaps it is dawning on him that his stance is not helping e/ the public and it's hurting him politically within the union.