In case you didn't already know it, Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson is just a little worried about what City Hall would look like if Bill de Blasio becomes mayor.
Appearing on "The Road to City Hall" last night, Wolfson fretted about the city's future in a potential de Blasio mayoralty, telling our Josh Robin: " He wants to take the city back to a different style of governing, where we had higher taxes, where we had more regulation on business, where we had more permissive policing.”
Picking 1974 as the city's squeegee-era nadir, Wolfson imagines de Blasio putting the city into a warped way-back machine, adding: "I don’t think New Yorkers want to go back to that."
Wolfson is reacting to de Blasio's ascendancy in the campaign like an all-hands political fire. If you didn't already think the Public Advocate was at the top of the pack in the crowded scrum of candidates, Wolfson's worried interview would erase your doubts.
While Mayor Bloomberg hasn't said if he's making an endorsement in the race, he is making a very loud anti-endorsement of de Blasio – while also raising serious questions about Bill Thompson because he has the backing of the teachers union.
Christine Quinn – who has worked with the mayor as City Council Speaker for more than seven years – is considered Bloomberg's favorite in the race. But would the mayor's backing help or hurt a Democrat in a primary filled with liberal voters who are rapidly tiring with the Michael Bloomberg show? A lot of political calculus is going on behind the scenes about whether the mayor will make an endorsement now or in October – or not at all.
There's some irony in Wolfson slamming de Blasio because the two of them worked closely together on Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign. De Blasio's job as Clinton's campaign manager was carefully dissected by The Times' David Chen in an excellent article yesterday. Asked about whether he agreed with an assessment in Chen's article that de Blasio was "frequently indecisive" on the Clinton campaign, Wolfson demurred, calling his old colleague "a good guy."
"You know, I don’t think he’s the right person to be mayor but he’s a good person,'' said Wolfson. "He and I are friends,” he added.
I'd hate to hear what Wolfson says about his enemies.