An Orthodox Approach
Anthony Weiner, known to spar with the occasional heckler, got into his biggest shouting match to date today.
After an Orthodox Jewish man called Mr. Weiner a “scumbag” as he was leaving a Boro Park bakery, the mayoral hopeful furiously spun around to confront the voter.
“Very nice, very nice, in front of kids. That’s a charming guy right there,” Mr. Weiner, chewing on cookies, uttered during one of several campaign stops on a visit to the neighborhood on the eve of the Jewish New Year.
Veni vidi vito
As a yarmulke-wearing Bill Thompson showed on a muggy Monday night, the road to victory in the mayor’s race may be partially paved by men with frock coats and billowing beards.
The ex-comptroller met with some influential rabbis to earn their blessings and, more importantly, the votes they potentially carry. Nibbling on rugelach and sipping alcohol, Mr. Thompson schmoozed with five leaders from various religious sects spanning Williamsburg and Boro Park, where burgeoning Orthodox Jewish populations are looking to make a dent in next Tuesday’s election.
For much of the rest of the week, Hasidic rabbis will be praying during Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, making the night a unique opportunity for Mr. Thompson as the September 10 Democratic primary looms just one week away.
After being forced to resigned after a lurid sexual harassment scandal that tarnished powerful Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, now-City Council candidate Vito Lopez has become the leper of the Democratic establishment, shunned by formerly loyal supporters and castigated in the harshest terms.
But ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is locked in an increasingly negative race for comptroller, stands out as the rare candidate willing to offer a few kind words.
Tell us how you really feel, Joe Lhota.
The former MTA chair joined his fellow Republican candidates at a mostly-genial mayoral forum tonight, where they lobbed bombs at common enemies like their Democratic rivals and agreed on virtually all policy fronts. But the good will ended when rival John Catsimatidis said he “liked” Mr. Lhota while declaring himself the most viable contender in the race.
“You don’t show it,” Mr. Lhota groused, pointing to the flood of negative advertising recently launched by the billionaire businessman’s campaign. “You sure spend a lot of money to piss me off.”
It’s good to be back home, or at least in your former City Council district.
Bill de Blasio took his mayoral campaign down a busy business strip in the heart of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community this afternoon, where he was warmly received as he hugged babies, schmoozed with voters and listened to the concerns of small business owners.
And along the way, he frequently pointed out that he used to represent a sizable slice of the Boro Park neighborhood before he was elected public advocate in 2009.
Bill de Blasio says he’s decisive, no matter what the The New York Times may say to the contrary.
This morning, the paper of record ran a front-page story examining the mayoral candidate’s leadership style through the lens of how he managed Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign and walked away somewhat unimpressed. Mr. de Blasio was labeled “frequently indecisive” and sometimes “agonizingly inefficient in a high-pressure, ever-shifting situation,” among other criticism.
But at a campaign stop in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn today, Mr. de Blasio insisted this depiction was inaccurate.
Wearing a yarmulke and a wide grin, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stopped by Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood Friday, visiting two businesses and even purchasing prayer books for the Jewish New Year.
Mr. Spitzer met with local leaders for several hours, attempting to peel away coveted Orthodox Jewish votes from his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who, like Mr. Spitzer, is Jewish. Though raised in a secular household, Mr. Spitzer made every effort to convey to Jewish voters and the press that he was still in touch with his roots.
The Brooklyn district attorney’s race is escalating rather quickly in Boro Park.
Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Orthodox Jewish surrogates for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and challenger Ken Thompson respectively, traded blows today after Mr. Greenfield said at a recent press conference that Mr. Thompson vowed to “target the Jewish community” for prosecution.
Mr. Hikind, no fan of Mr. Greenfield, was not amused.
It snowed, hailed and rained on Bill de Blasio’s parade. The public advocate spent Monday, his first official day as a mayoral candidate, on a journey that spanned over sixty miles and all five boroughs, a dramatic, physical manifestation of his plan to propel himself to Gracie Mansion by reaching out to disenfranchised residents in the far flung corners of the city and channeling populist backlash against the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg along the way.
Yesterday evening, Councilman David Greenfield endorsed fellow Councilman Lew Fidler’s state senate campaign, giving Mr. Fidler a bit of momentum as he campaigns for the sizable Orthodox Jewish vote in the district he seeks to represent.
Mr. Greenfield, saying Mr. Fidler is “the best person to fight for the frum community in the New York State Senate,” specifically praised his plan to reduce the financial burden of Jewish educational institutions.