August 1, 2016

Five Reasons Bill de Blasio Had A Brutal Convention Week

An embarrassing exposé in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal capped off a terrible week for embattled New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The story, which quoted de Blasio’s own staff members, detailed his “outbursts and condescending tone”:

According to the interviews with current and former staff members, Mr. de Blasio can be condescending with his aides, often using the phrase “this is a teachable moment” before humiliating an aide in a staff meeting.

Mr. de Blasio, 55 years old, sometimes speaks slowly, like one would to a toddler, when he believes a staff member is unprepared or incorrect, these people said. He often tells staff members he has better political instincts than they do and he grows irritated when aides give lengthy briefings on an issue, they said.

Several current and former staff members said they were reluctant to buck him in meetings for fear of being embarrassed. “Anyone can incur his wrath,” a former city official said.

This is the latest salvo in the circular firing squad among de Blasio’s staff as top aides have fled City Hall in recent months. The report capped off what should have been a rare good week for de Blasio at the Democratic National Convention, but quickly went south.

Here’s what happened:

First, on Wednesday morning, de Blasio raised eyebrows by attempting to laugh off one of the five separate ethics investigations currently pending against him with a sarcastic quip that it was “probably bigger than Watergate” and “ridiculous”:

Then, De Blasio followed up those remarks by abruptly canceling an interview with the New York Daily News:

A dismissive Mayor de Blasio Wednesday mocked concern about his team covering up crucial documents in a probe of his administration.

Then he cancelled a Daily News interview and refused to answer questions about the investigation of a Lower East Side nursing home sale.

Hours later, de Blasio found himself on the receiving end of a Big Apple-sized snub, losing out on a primetime speaking slot to former NYC Mayor (and former Republican) Mike Bloomberg.

That wasn’t the last indignity de Blasio would have to endure before leaving Philadelphia. Finally, on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a potential primary challenge to de Blasio was the “talk of the [New York] delegation” at the convention:

While there was plenty of talk about the 2016 race for the White House at the Democratic National Convention, there was ample speculation at late-night political parties about whether Mr. de Blasio could be defeated next year—and who could do it.

With fellow Democrats openly plotting against him, record-low approval ratings, and no end in sight to multiple scandals, 2017 isn’t looking good for de Blasio, and Team Clinton has made it clear they’ll gladly let him twist in the wind.