exiting stage right
After one of the most tumultuous election cycles in New York City history, Joe Lhota took the stage tonight to concede the mayor’s race to Democrat Bill de Blasio, who will be the city’s next mayor after 12 years of Michael Bloomberg leading City Hall.
New York City Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was quite pleased with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night, but she’s not optimistic about Congress heeding the president’s call to to avoid the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester” that are scheduled to go into effect March 1.
“I love his speech he came out swinging,” Ms. Maloney told Politicker about the president’s speech last night.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement responding to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night commending the president’s education proposals, call to raise the minimum wage and commitment to gun control.
“President Obama put forward a bold, comprehensive agenda in his 2013 State of the Union Address that continues to rebuild our nation’s economy and strengthens the middle class,” the governor began. “The vision President Obama presented tonight is one we embrace here in New York. The President laid out an agenda for a vibrant American future, where we work together to bring jobs back from overseas, train our young people to have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, and ensure those who work long and hard hours can provide for their families.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has emerged as one of the nation’s loudest gun control advocates in recent months. Unsurprisingly, in his response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night, the mayor focused on the Commander in Chief’s push for stronger gun control laws including background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
“Tonight, President Obama made a clarion call to fix the nation’s broken gun laws,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. “In a chamber filled with both survivors of gun violence and the men and women of the United States Congress who have the power to improve our gun laws, President Obama implored both parties to come together on an issue that has the support of the vast majority of Americans: keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
In his State of the Union address this evening, President Barack Obama addressed several hot-button political issues including climate change, immigration reform and gun control. Overall, the president’s speech struck a populist tone, but when bringing up his proposals to address some of these more controversial issues, he characterized them as making good business sense.
Rock You Like a Hurricane
This afternoon City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave her annual State of the City address, which seemed like a stump speech for her assumed mayoral campaign. Accordingly, her rivals who have already launched their mayoral bids issued rebuttals criticizing Ms. Quinn’s address. Bill de Blasio was first out of the gate with a statement blasting Ms. Quinn for failing to live up to her main promise of “creating even greater opportunity for the middle class and those striving to get there.” Bill Thompson followed that with a statement that took Ms. Quinn to task for failing to specifically address the needs of outer borough communities that were most heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Speaker Quinn’s State of the City speech today contained a number of very interesting proposals that are worthy of further study,” Mr. Thompson began. “However, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize communities across New York that have been devastated by Sandy, including Rockaway, Red Hook, Coney or Midland Beach, as well as Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Brighton Beach, Breezy Point, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island, Tottenville, South Beach, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Sea Gate, Manhattan Beach, and City Island. We need a mayor with the leadership and vision to support every community in every corner of New York City.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered one of the eulogies at former Mayor Ed Koch’s funeral in Manhattan this morning and he praised his predecessor for an attitude “full of humor and chutzpah” that ”embodied the spirit of New York City” and made him “our City’s quintessential Mayor.” In his speech, Mayor Bloomberg also credited Koch with laying the foundation that allowed subsequent mayor’s to make the five boroughs “great again.” In a nod to the setting of the funeral, the Jewish Temple Emanu-El, Mr. Bloomberg compared Koch’s achievements to the story of Moses.
“I’ve been doing my biblical research, and I think it’s only fitting that this week’s Torah portion is about Moses leading the Jews out of bondage in Egypt. Now, Ed, in his own way, was our Moses. Just with a little less hair,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “He led us out of darkness and he gave us hope. And while he may not have parted the Red Sea, he did break a subway strike by standing on a bridge and shouting words of encouragement.”
One of the most hotly anticipated elements of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State address today was his plan to enact “sweeping” gun control reforms in New York. In his speech, the governor outlined a seven-point gun control plan focused on “high-capacity assault rifles” that he promised would be one of the “toughest” in the nation and lead similar laws to spread beyond New York.
“Gun violence has been on a rampage as we know firsthand and as we know painfully,” said the governor. “We must stop the madness, my friends. In one word, it’s just ‘enough.’ It has been enough. We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured.”
The governor continued by saying his gun control proposals are not about “taking away people’s guns.”
Staying on Message
When President Barack Obama first hit the campaign trail this year, he tried to silence his doubters by insisting his re-election bid was “still about hope,” the slogan that propelled him to the White House in 2008. Almost exactly six months later, he took the stage in Chicago’s McCormick place to deliver a rousing victory speech in which he aggressively defended his promise of hope and change after a first term filled with partisan gridlock and a long, bitter presidential race.
“Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you,” President Obama began. “It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and oppression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation.”
Love & Marriage
Michelle Obama is in Florida tonight for the final presidential debate and, this afternoon, she appeared at a campaign event Broward College where she had high praise for President Barack Obama’s appearance. The first lady commented on her husband’s looks when she was interrupted by someone in the audience as she started her speech.
“I’m pretty fired up and ready to go myself because today, like I’ve been doing for a couple of years now on this campaign trail, I get to do one of my favorite things, and that is to talk about the man that I have loved and admired since I first met him 23 years ago,” Ms. Obama began.
“Cute!” someone in the crowd shouted.