Ends of Eras
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top communications deputy isn’t entirely pleased with the way Bill de Blasio’s inauguration speakers presented his ex-boss’s record.
The deputy, Howard Wolfson, reached out to WNYC this morning to argue against some of the claims made by the event’s speakers, who presented the city as a deeply divided “plantation” in need of new leadership and direction.
Strongly Worded Speeches
It was a cold awakening for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent his first day as a civilian listening to speakers skewer his legacy, as he looked on, stone-faced in the winter chill at his successor’s inauguration ceremony.
Mr. Bloomberg, who departed City Hall last night with a triumphant walk through a receiving line of enthusiastic cheers, today returned for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration, where he was met with a chilly reception as speakers lamented the current state of the city, especially when it comes to race relations and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
upping the ante
During the election season, Bill de Blasio was often painted by conservatives as a leftist radical. But at his inauguration today, it was not Mr. de Blasio who dropped the most aggressive lines, but the first two speakers at the event.
In particular, Rev. Fred Lucas Jr., who was among several chaplains representing the city’s uniformed workers, surprised many observers by comparing the five boroughs to a “plantation.”
One of Bill de Blasio’s most prominent backers today equated the Koch brothers with the Ku Klux Klan while introducing the mayoral front-runner at a church in Harlem.
Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio ramped up his push this afternoon for minority voters, rolling out endorsements from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Caribbean singing legend Harry Belafonte.
Towering above his peers as he spoke in lower Manhattan today, the city’s public advocate addressed one of the larger crowds he’s seen on the campaign trail as if he had already won the September 10 Democratic Primary, thanking everyone who has supported him thus far as he added the new names to the list.
Massachusetts Republicans criticized Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren for having a New York fundraiser hosted by calypso singer Harry Belafonte. Mr. Belafonte drew the ire of conservatives in Ms. Warren’s home state because of his long history as an activist, which included vigorous, sometimes controversial, opposition to the Bush administration that has earned him villain status among some conservatives.
“Harry Belafonte’s anti-American views are extreme and repugnant. He has praised Castro and Chavez, blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11 and denounced America as a villain in world affairs,” MassGOP Executive Director Nate Little,” told the Boston Herald.