Friday, December 23, 2005

Mayor' Image

In today's NY Sun, Julia Levy is speculating about how the transit strike will effect the public perception of the mayor. In the piece she questions a number of analyst and finds the reaction is mixed. On the one hand our good friend Doug Muzzio feels that "the mayor will emerge from the crisis with more political capital." Norman Adler takes the opposite tack and feels that the mayor "might have lost points with the public with his explosive rhetoric."

And if there is a third hand it is represented by Columbia University's Steven Cohen who takes the plague on all your houses perspective, "All the decision makers, all the people in charge just look like they're incompetent." This is probably closer to how we feel and, as we have said, it is a point of view encapsulated in the Op-Ed done by the Siegals in today's Post.

The public perception, however, will really start to take hold in the aftermath of the strike and in the competing narratives that emerge. This is an opportunity for some of our ambitious mayoral wannabes. There is a righteous position on governance to be made and, so far, it appears that only Weiner has begun to stake it out.

The next mayoral candidates can certainly use Bloomberg's precedent with the dismantling of the old Board of Education as a springboard to demanding local control of NYC's transit system. All the Bloomberg blustering during the strike only underscored his impotence and the need for radical restructuring.