NEW YORKERS ARE SMART
New Yorkers figure prominently in the political power grid and the sides are drawn. It’s really amazing how blue state New York has so many players, both reds and blues, in the political wars. Let’s start with former mayor Rudy Giuliani. The man was once respected as “America’s Mayor.” Now he is despised and perceived as one of the country’s worst political miscreants by New Yorkers who, by large proportions, also despise Donald Trump. We’ll get to in a moment. Giuliani must suspect that Trump will turn on him as he has on so many former allies. He has not been quiet about having “insurance” should that happen. Adding insult to injury, Giuliani has been spending time in Ukraine doing God knows what. Two of his associates have been arrested and at least one of them, we hear, may sing like a canary. That may be true but Giuliani has gone from a New York hero to New York goat, big time.
Of course, we really should list Donald Trump as a New Yorker, even with his recent announcement that like so many other New Yorkers, he is moving to Florida. He said he’s changing his state of residency because New Yorkers don’t like him. He certainly got that right. His political sins are so numerous that I won’t spend my time outlining them here. We all know what they are and like so many others who have been commenting on his departure, I can only join in with a hearty “good riddance.” He is truly the antithesis of a New Yorker.
Then there are the two United States Senators from New York. Chuck Schumer has done well. If the Senate flips to the Democrats, he will be one of the most powerful men in the country. I’ve always liked the guy and respected him but I think he should be more forceful when it comes to Trump, He is joined in the Senate by another Democrat, Kirsten Gillibrand, who recently resigned from the presidential race where she got nowhere. Apparently she thought that she would harness the “Me-too” vote but that never happened.
Then there’s Jerry Nadler, the Chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee. He’s done well in that role but it is clear that Speaker Pelosi does not have him at the top of her most favored list. The top spot there obviously goes to Adam Schiff, followed to some degree by my Congressman here in western Massachusetts, Richard “Richie” Neal. Once the bad boy of New York politics, Nadler has played a support role and was one of the first Pelosi lieutenants to announce for an impeachment inquiry. If you know anything about politics in New York’s West Side, you’ll see that Pelosi had to let Nadler “off the hook” on that one. Even he wouldn’t have survived anything less than his pro-impeachment stance.
Another prominent New York player is Carolyn Maloney, now the Chair of the House Oversight Committee. I have known her for years and she is one tough lady and not to be trifled with. Leaving the House is the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey. That’s a tough one since her Committee is in a unique position to bring home the New York bacon. She’ll be missed.
So New York has some powerful players in the game but some will get more powerful if Trump loses the election and the Senate flips to the Democrats. Some people believe that Andrew Cuomo may be licking his chops if the Democratic presidential candidate loses in 2020. They used to say that about his father, Mario, who I knew fairly well. True to his word, he never ran even when he had the chance to do so.
Donald Trump tried his best to woo New Yorkers with the ice skating rink and carousel in Central Park. They haven’t fallen for it. Hey, New Yorkers are smart.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected].