The primaries are over. In this Pacific blue city, the Democratic primaries can be dizzying. It was for a newbie like me. But my DFNYC comrades - brave people - stayed spirited and engaged. Even when some of our endorsed candidates did not make it, the spirit was not down. "I put my efforts into a good cause, and I feel good about it." That was the spirit. I was like, wow.
Now the picture is a little clearer. Democrats are rallying behind Fernando Ferrer for Mayor. I have not looked into the details yet much, but the Republican incumbent Bloomberg seems to have a wide edge. He is way ahead in the polls. I wonder why.
I think he manages to deceive the New Yorkers into thinking he is a Republican in name only, and he manages to sing all the right tunes on the social issues. For example, he is against the Roberts nomination for Supreme Court. Not even many Democrats in DC have come out swinging like that. And he was a lifelong Democrat. He became Republican just to run for Mayor. The national Bush wave did it for him, looks like.
Bloomberg and Arnold tease the Democrats more than anyone else. They are so in your face.
Another thing is the Democratic Party is in such disarray. So totally out of power. That makes it hard for the Democrats locally.
But Bloomberg is not that much of a Democrat after all, if you look closely. He is a Bush person through and through. If he so disagrees with the official Republican line on the social issues, why did he join the party in the first place?
I think a lot of New Yorkers like it that he is rich. In the rat race of life, Bloomberg is a distant glow. The lighthouse seen from the sea. And the guy does spend a lot of his own money on his campaigns. He buys into the airwaves with abandon. And TV ads work, or they would not get bought left and right. Bloomberg has the money edge.
It is like Jack Kennedy's super rich father liked being called Amabassador. There is something about political offices for the rich. Bloomberg wanted to be Mayor. Mr. Mayor.
The Nepal peace process will continue to be my top political priority. But the mayoral race might be a good way to learn a little more about city politics. And I noticed Ferrer is Hispanic. The name should have told me, but I had to look it up nevertheless. I feel that is important. In this diverse city that is especially true. I doubt the city has ever had a Hispanic mayor ever.
The thought concurrent is it is a long shot. But that does not mean this will not be a spirited campaign. And there always is hope.
United Democratic Party Challenges the Mayor - New York Times
Key Endorsements: Fernando Ferrer (Gotham Gazette. September 5, 2005)
Democrats Rally Behind NYC Primary Winner - Yahoo! News
Fernando Ferrer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fernando Ferrer -- A Democratic Front-Runner