The Tall Man Cometh
After a full week without public events, Bill de Blasio emerged Saturday morning at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally in Harlem, where the new mayor-elect rallied cheering supporters with a promise of “aggressive” progressive change.
Walk this way
Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio today backtracked on his claim that he is a “fiscal conservative,” saying that he should have dubbed himself “fiscally responsible” instead.
During a speech yesterday in front of the Association for a Better New York, the Democrat—who has run the race as a liberal progressive, vowing to raise taxes on the rich and address growing income inequality—claimed that he is, in fact, a “progressive activist fiscal conservative, but … still a fiscal conservative.”
It was a meeting that would have been unimaginable 15 years ago.
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota, who served as deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, tonight sat down with Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader who maintained an infamously antagonistic relationship with the Giuliani administration.
But everything went smoothly enough today. The pair emerged following a 30-minute meeting to a room full of press, but offered few details of the exchange, which Mr. Sharpton described as “cordial and candid.”
Rev. Al Sharpton welcomed “presumptive” Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio to his Saturday National Action Network rally this morning, where he declared that the identity politics of 20 years ago had given way to a new reality.
“What the election showed the other night is that a lot of the identity politics of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, has now become identity politics of policy,” he told the audience. “Bill Thompson did very well in some white areas, Bill de Blasio did well in some black areas. You can no longer take yesterday’s maps for today’s politics.”
The mayoral candidates made their final pilgrimage to Rev. Al Sharpton’s House of Justice this morning, making their case to Harlem voters as they scramble for support in the campaign’s final stretch.
All of the Gracie Mansion hopefuls have been aggressively courting black support, crisscrossing black neighborhoods and vying for the endorsements of prominent black leaders. But one of the biggest prizes–Mr. Sharpton himself–has chosen to stay mum–a decision that has been seen as a particular blow to Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race.
The overtones were impossible to ignore this morning as Mr. Sharpton took pains to stress that he wasn’t playing favorites and tried to convince those in the audience that there was no bad blood between him and the five candidates present: Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn, John Liu, Anthony Weiner and Mr. Thompson.
It began outside a subway station in Harlem, where Anthony Weiner greeted–and embraced—New Yorkers on their way to work.
Next, he eschewed the Memorial Day parade in his old district for a sparsely-attended black church service in Southeast Queens and a veterans ceremony in the Bronx’s Co-op City. And this weekend, he slammed stop-and-frisk at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally, earning loud applause from the mostly-black crowd.
The Rev. Al Sharpton walked away unimpressed following Anthony Weiner’s first campaign appearance in front of his National Action Network in Harlem Saturday morning.
Mr. Sharpton, who met privately with the former congressman before they each took to the stage, worried about what he described as a lack of substance on the part of the candidates.