In today's NY Post, in a signal that 2009 is not so far ahead of us, Comptroller Bill Thompson takes Mayor Mike to task for a failure to do what he said that he should be judged on: improve the school system. Clearly, education is going to be a signature issue in the next election cycle and a credible candidate is one who will have to, not only criticize the mayor's record, but also offer some reasonable policy suggestions on how change can be made for the better.
Which brings us to the Speaker, who has been rumored to harbor mayoral ambitions At some point she is going to have to differentiate herself from the mayor on a wide range of issues, or risk being labeled the Deputy Mayor for legislation. Quinn's support of the DOH menu labeling rule is a case in point.
It's not that she couldn't reasonably come to the conclusion that the rule made policy sense; even though we feel the whole idea is an unwarranted intrusion into the lives of New Yorkers. It's that she immediately jump on the DOH bandwagon without allowing the legislative process to unfold, thus undermining her majority leader in a rush to embrace the mayor and his curious public health agenda.
This is quite a posture for the leader of a legislature, and it will be interesting to see how she maneuvers in the next couple of years. Standing in the mayoral shadow is not a place to run for office from, particularly so since we think that the Bloomberg will be off the rose once the next election cycle begins.