A few thoughts.
This week, in Manhattan, a candidate for Borough President drew much heat for becoming a Republican 10 years ago at age 35 and dropping a small fortune into George Pataki’s coffers and acquiring some choice perks as a result, before changing back a few months later with no explanation beyond self-interest.
So surely, another fully grown adult, who joined the GOP at the height of Newt Gingrich’s contract against America (and Bill Clinton) and explained it by declaring “
And at a time when many professional liberals (and others across the ideological spectrum) still feign populist outrage at Christine Quinn and others for temporarily repealing term limits for their own benefit, even over four years after the fact, one would think the last plausible candidate for higher office would be someone who one year after his first election and while double dipping from a huge public pension of his own, took to the floor of the legislature to scream about his long overdue pay raise, shouting out “show me the money” as if her were Cuba Gooding, Jr.
And, in the aftermath of Vito’s Lopez’s purge attempt against Nydia Velazquez, one would assume the last candidate Velazquez supporters would rally around for higher office would be someone who endorsed her chief opponent for Congress.
And surely, with Democrats incensed at the IDC deal with Dean Skelos, it would be unthinkable for outraged party loyalists to support for higher office someone who just accepted a committee chairmanship from Skelos.
But apparently, I just don’t understand Brooklyn politics.
Yesterday, only because two relevant stories ripened at once, I published two items pointing out that Brooklyn Borough President candidate and State Senator Eric Adams had engaged in just such behavior.
Manhattan has a small army running for Beep. Queens, a place known for its all powerful machine, has a large battalion of contenders.
I understand the romance of the black political class for Adams, and marvel at the discipline it took to close ranks behind him.
I understand the County Organization’s acquiescence as well. Adams has proven politically flexible and he appears a prohibitive frontrunner. A white candidate has not won a countywide primary in Brooklyn since 2005. The once vote rich old southern Brooklyn Jewish belt, to the extent it still exists, is now heavy with Orthodox and Russian Jews who often are not even enrolled Democrats, or, if they are, find participation in Democratic primaries less exciting than voting for Republicans in the fall.
Much of the strong white voting areas are now blocs of Brownstone liberals as likely, or more likely, to back a minority candidate than a southern Brooklyn white (especially when it is a minority candidate, who, like Adams, has represented some Brownstone areas).
And the southern Brooklyn white contender until today, Councilman Dominic Recchia, although smart and with a record of some accomplishment, looks to Brownstone whites like something out of Saturday Night Fever; perhaps a candidate for a one night stand, but not for higher office.
To put the cherry on top, despite Adams’ position as a member of the pathetic Sen Dems, and Recchia’s position as Chair of the City Council Finance Committee, it was Adams who raised more money.
I guess this situation should be no surprise. Those who consider the Council Finance Chairmanship a stepping stone for higher office should perhaps consult our last two City Comptrollers, Herb Berman and David Weprin.
So, the County Organization is clearly making the smart move going with Adams.
None of that surprises me.
What surprises me is that between his enrolling Republican during the 90s and swearing fealty to Newt Gingrich, and then switching back when a seat opened, imitating Cuba Gooding in an effort to raise his pay (while already getting a Police Captain’s pension), sitting in Monserrate’s rooting section at Hiram’s assault trial, “Racetrack Empire,” playing footsie with Skelos, endorsing Nydia Velazquez’s opponent and stupid legislation, the "progressive" romance for Eric Adams has always been unfathomable to me.
Meanwhile, Recchia is now talking about running for Congress in a district where 74.18% of the votes come from Staten Island, a Borough notorious for territoriality over their turf.
As daunting as would be the campaign against Adams, it would be a day at the beach compared to what a Brooklynite will face in such a race for Congress.
But as delusional as Recchia may be, it would be hard for him to beat the army of Brooklyn “progressives” excited over the coronation of Eric Adams.
Congrats Eric; you are clearly some sort of miracle worker, and I guess I should take a second look to see what it is that everyone else sees which I am missing (but I'm not looking forward to it).