Bloomy Bites Rudy

03.30.2005 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs | 1 Comment
Sometimes it’s important to remember what that thing above the subtext is called. But not when listening to trial stump speeches, like the one Mayor Bloomberg gave this morning at the New School’s misleadingly named U.S. Mayors and Innovative Leadership conference. What stood out from Mayor Mike’s rather lengthy list of his accomplishments, real and otherwise, were the two subtle but unmistakable cracks at his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, who no doubt casts a big shadow. It turns out my tape recorder broke down midway through his speech, so I can’t promise what follows is verbatim, but if it’s not it’s very close.

After reminding the assembled that when he came into office, smoke was still rising from the Towers, he declared that “Before 9/11 nobody ever thought about [intelligence and terrorism],” and that “now we have cops — a thousand of them —dedicated to these tasks.” I thought perhaps I was reading too much into the remarks, and what seemed to me the implication that Giuliani had neglected his responsibilities in fighting terror, until the mayor took a second crack about ten minutes later, declaring that “We failed to learn our lesson in 1993.”

We’ll see how well this plays in New York, a city in which education, not terror, was the number one issue for voters in the last Democratic mayoral primary — held less than a month after 9/11. The surest sign, of course, will be whether or not these cracks become stump speech staples during Bloomberg’s reelection run.

The spin machine for unnderstandable reasons was really rolling after 9/11 America needed a brave face and Rudy fit the bill. But today the Mayor has an important point going ahead, that may get him in trouble, but we need the facts.
The other one who really carried the hero wieght after 9/11 was C Virginia Fields. She had to bravely walk and talk Manhattan, holding the people's hands in the time of greatest peril through the crisis, while others were rolling in and out making speeches and moves all over the place.
Even before the fact is Mssr. Guliani, Sharpton and Ferrer were so focused on scoring local macho points on issues like the Diallo tradjedy, they forgot the whole world was watching as they publically manuvered. This was particularly unwise after the terroist attack by Islamic terrorist in 93'. In hindsight they should have known better.
Again it goes to moral Virginia's credit even then, she alone had the hard political grits and serious sense of The City and Community to stand on the steps of Gracie Mansion with Speaker Vallone to bring then Mayor Guiliani back into the NY fold and let others go home having saved face. Which they quckly did.
Mr. Bloomberg and particularly Dave Dinkins' guy, police Commisioner Ray Kelly deserve real credit for staying on the defensive case after 9/11. Should Virigia become Mayor as increasingly looks likely, because of her bank of moral capital and intrisic international star potential, which are vital security assets, she should reappoint him.

03.31.2005 | JackHaruact

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