As the nation's cable tv networks ride the "fiscal cliff" story like they rode the presidential election and Sandy, media here in New York City have a new horserace to handicap. The primaries and general election for New York City Mayor are quite a long way off, but the speculation, gossip, and intrigue are already off to a good start. This week alone contained a whole lot of all three.
There was the revelation that, a few months ago, Mayor Bloomberg contacted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to beseech her to run for mayor. Why he'd think she'd go for this is anybody's guess, but Hizzoner has never been lacking in guile. He wants to anoint a successor, and word is he isn't too happy with those who have publicly lusted for the job. That might even include the person the smart money has been betting he'd endorse. Secretary Clinton, being possessed of sound mind and body, declined.
Hot on the heels of that revelation comes word of a poll that says New Yorkers don't want Hillary Clinton to run for mayor either. They want her to run for President! Not by a little, by a lot. She of course has said she's not interested for now, but in politics you never know. No sooner does the poll drop than speculation about another candidate starts to surface publicly. MTA boss Joe Lhota has gotten major kudos for his handling of the city's transit system after Hurricane Sandy. Now word is he's looking to run for the Republican nomination for mayor. His biggest booster isn't Mayor Bloomberg, who was reportedly cool to the idea, but former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who used to be Lhota's boss. If I were Lhota, I'd be careful about a Giuliani endorsement. For some candidates for office, it's been the kiss of death.
And then, the ridiculous. Turns out one candidate, Public Advocate Bill DiBlasio, has to deal with an article written more than 30 years ago by his wife. In it, she says she's a lesbian. What this has to do with DiBlasio's ability to be mayor is anyone's guess. In this early part of the mayoral season, it really doesn't matter. It just gives the chattering classes something to snicker about. Some say it's a deliberate effort to hurt the Public Advocate with conservative voters. You might say no, but this is New York City politics, and such things aren't unprecedented.
Can you believe all this stuff is happening, and it's not even Christmas yet? It's way too early for a mayoral sweepstakes, isn't it?
Or is it?