Sunday, April 17, 2005

New York Mayoral Race 2005!
Less Interesting Than San Francisco's, More Interesting Than L.A.'s

Let's check in with the hottest contest in politics right now -- no, not the British elections. We don't know a goddam thing about that. You guys still have fucking Tories? Dude, that's like if we still let the Whigs run candidates. And what the hell's a "Libdem"?

No, I'm talking about the New York mayoral race -- literally five or six people are jockeying for the position most likely to stop your political career dead in its tracks. Sorry, guys -- only one of you will be lucky enough to be forced out of office as the city goes to hell and spend the rest of your days posing for photo-ops with old people and using your increasingly meaningless endorsements as weapons of impotent spite.

New York is an interesting town, politically. Something like 254% of its denizens are registered democrats, and the rest are undocumented aliens. But they don't decide who to vote for based on party allegiance -- no, there's also race and fear. Most of the time, New Yorkers will vote for the candidate closest to them in skin tone. If a member of their ethnic group is unavailable, they will vote for the one representing the group that lives furthest away from them. No one votes for Asians.

As I said, most New Yorkers are registered Democrats, so in many races, the Democratic primary is the real election. That's not really true this time, so I'm not sure why I brought it up.

The New York Democratic party picks candidates much in the same way MTV producers assemble a Real World cast. You need a black woman, a closeted gay guy, a loud obnoxious guy, and a loser. Look for Ferrer and Fields to "hook up," and for Weiner to leave under mysterious circumstances half-way through the season. Think of Michael Bloomberg as the cast of "Road Rules," and the primaries as a Spring Break swimsuit-trading competition. It won't help you understand anything, but it might make the next seven months less boring.

Let's take a look at the candidates:

Freddy Ferrer:
The frontrunner by an ever-shrinking margin. The only one to beat Bloomberg in a head-to-head poll. BUT HE HAS DOOMED HIS CAMPAIGN!!!!! How? Because journalists have decreed it! Mr. Ferrer, speaking to cops, said some cop-friendly things about Amadou Diallo. Ferrer, who was arrested protesting the Diallo's shooting back when it happened, has been accused of "flip-flopping." It doesn't particularly matter that he's been relatively consistent in saying that the shooting of Diallo wasn't a "crime," as it is now officially mandated by the Benevolent Order of Metro Section Editors that every mention of Fernando Ferrer in a newspaper be followed by a reference to his beleaguered campaign and his now notorious PR GAFFE (Google News reports 118 hits for Ferrer and Diallo). It is already a meta-story, with papers covering the way the papers cover this BLUNDER beginning to trickle out. This might be the smartest thing I've seen on it thus far. See here for context, if you're into that kinda stuff. Me, I prefer to report on whether the reporting is unfair and wait for the next fuckup.

C. Virginia Fields:
It's becoming increasingly clear that the New York press is rooting for her. The come-from-behind narrative is beginning to take shape, and the underdog pose is being universally admired. Why would an otherwise unremarkable and indistinguishable candidate get the benefit of blatant media bias? Because of the headline pun possibilities. Editors are salivating over the opportunities in a Fields administration. And it runs the ideological gamut. How would two of the dailies cover a Mayor Fields Press conference?
The New York Times approach: Brought Up to the Majors, Mayor Fields A Few Fouls
The Post (which will be calling her C-Vir by June): WRIGGLY FIELDS

And that's just the last name! This woman's name generates enough material to get Dawn Eden fired from two jobs!
Time: C. Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus
Post: See? Virginia's Slim!
Pitchfork: Come On, Come On Down, C. Virginia

Anthony Weiner:
Candidacy doomed by his tragic suicide in the new Todd Solondz movie. Also, he's a douchebag.

Gifford Miller:

And that's about it. We're all screwed.

WAIT!! This JUST IN!!! Bob Kerrey may be considering a run! Except that, well... he's heading "Democrats for Bloomberg." Still, he'd liven the race up a bit once he stormed the other candidates huts at night and slit their throats.

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