Thursday, September 15, 2005So it looked yesterday like we were going to have a runoff for NY mayor, and then my candidate bailed. Anthony Weiner dropped out, citing the importance of party unity.
Needless to say this really took the wind out of my sails. Some of my friends were ready to jump off a cliff. I think Weiner meant what he said, but I also believe that he made the calculation that a) Bloomberg is not going to be beaten by anybody (he's got a 60% approval rating and $100 million dollars) and b) that if there was a runoff, Weiner would be risking any future Latino support.
I'm not sure this is an appropriate calculation. Four years is a long time, and Weiner has disappointed a lot of people by not fighting it out. Our system has rules, and we should play by them. The nomination shouldn't be handed to anybody just so we can avoid a fight - political office must be earned. Beyond that, William Thompson (the African-American comptroller) and Adolfo Carrion (the Latino Bronx Borough President) will be running in four years, and Weiner will be faced with the same strategic dilemma all over again: how to defeat someone from one of those ethnic group without alienating their supporters.
One final thing: I've had it with Ferrer's supporters accusing his critics of implicit racism. We don't dislike Freddy because he's Latino. We dislike him because he's a bad candidate. We dislike him because he has some absurd policy positions. We dislike him because he's vaciallated on abortion and the death penalty. We dislike him because he has surrounded himself with some people of questionable character. And we dislike him because he and his friends sabotaged Mark Green in 2001. They literally closed the doors of Bronx County Headquarters on election day, and the Bronx leader's son endorsed Bloomberg that year. It takes a lot of nerve to demand we support your candidate in the name of party unity when you have never displayed any.