Mayor de Blasio Is the Anti-Bloomberg

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 09:59 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Remember, not so long ago, when everyone was taking nonstop about the sudden power and influence of the Occupy Wall Street movement? Or was it, the Occupy Wall Street Bloodless Revolution?
Their gripe morphed into a worldwide fury against the grotesque existence of the so-called 1 percenters, the uber-wealthy people who make up The Establishment in America, folks who have lifted Thorstein Veblen's obsession about Conspicuous Consumption to a fine art.
Well, last week in New York City, where the Occupy swarm began, we saw another terrific example of the Revenge of the Rest of Us against those affluent types.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, in office for only about a month by now, managed to create a media storm (perhaps unwittingly, though the odds are strikingly against it) when residents of Manhattan's tony Upper East Side took to local New York City television stations to sputter and complain that the city had failed to clear their snow away, after the latest epochal blizzard had engulfed the beleaguered town. 
Even more galling, it seemed that the street of Brooklyn, where de Blasio lives (in tony Park Slope), had received excellent (by comparison, anyway) snow-removal from NYC.
You could see the befuddlement on the faces of the Upper East Siders: This would never have happened when Bloomberg was our mayor! Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio's predecessor, was infamous for allegedly catering to his hem neighborhood — you guessed it — the Upper East Side. 
The snow will undoubtedly melt someday (I swear it, my fellow NYC denizens). But will the maligned members of the New York intelligentsia have long memories? After all, de Blasio was swept into office on a current of discontent with Bloomberg's policies, especially in his third and final term in office.
Give de Blasio a little credit here. He appears to have an unerring instinct in politics to give the people what they want, usually a highly successful tactic. Since NYC was suffering a case of Bloomberg burnout in the last few years, de Blasio shrewdly portrayed himself as the anti-Bloomberg. It worked smashingly.
Now, de Blasio will have to assert himself as his own man. He will be interesting to watch.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.

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