Sunday, December 21, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A De Blasio Spring at City Hall

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Mayor de Blasio yesterday took a stroll in front of City Hall yesterday with his counsel, Maya Wiley, and then was suddenly bit by the spirit of spring, acting like a college student and shocking his aides by sunning on the steps with the press corps that's been harassing him over the last ten weeks.

The mayor's impromptu hangout with the media was a smart instinctual move; while he's being getting hammered by many of the reporters who have been assigned to cover him, some of the criticism has been well-deserved in a bumpy couple of the months where the administration seems to be a one-note pre-k wonder.

But one of de Blasio's greatest assets that helped him in last year's crowded mayoral race is that he's a genuinely likable guy – and most of those snarky reporters actually enjoyed covering him on the campaign trail. Funny and smart, de Blasio is praised by many of the people who've worked with him over the years in the political trenches. These assets, though, have often by hidden by members of his team who have limited most of the mayor's interviews to national media outlets that don't regularly cover him. His press conferences have often been "on topic" where questions about other issues have been limited or not allowed, frustrating those assigned to the City Hall beat. He traveled all the way to Chicago with reporters in tow last week and never bothered to talk with them.

It's not a New York political tradition but de Blasio also might want to embrace a little more of that humility that he carried with him before getting elected. In an alternate world where Anthony Weiner didn't implode, it's easy to imagine someone else running around the West Wing of City Hall. While de Blasio won in a landslide, New Yorkers didn't line up for hours to cast their ballots in last year's election.

The mayor seemed to discover two contradictory things about the weather yesterday: if it's cold all the time, people don't have time to kill each other -- but the spring brings out a little love in everyone. Let a hundred flowers bloom!

But a word of warning to everyone – we're supposed to get a little snow tonight.

Note: The ItCH will be trying to avoid the sleet and is taking a short break until next Tuesday.


Bob Hardt

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