Monday, December 22, 2014

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

NY1 ItCH: The Best of Frenemies

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Maybe there's hope for some Cuomo-de Blasio love this spring.

The Daily News is reporting today that the mayor and the governor yesterday met with officials of the Working Families Party in an effort to convince them to endorse the governor at their nominating convention this Saturday.

The Working Families Party has come a long way since 1998 when then-candidate for governor Peter Vallone helped create an alternative to the Liberal Party, which had abandoned its wonky/lefty roots and become a patronage mill for the Giuliani administration.

Cuomo seems hell-bent on running up the score this November and is trying to collect the backing of the state's third parties like a sugar-filled toddler at an Easter Egg hunt. With the Independence Party's backing safely in hand, Cuomo is focusing on the WFP, whose leaders have soured on him because of his charter-school love, his tax cuts, and – more recently – his pick of former upstate Rep. Kathy Hochul.

Enter Hizzoner. An enrolled Democrat, de Blasio is essentially an honorary member of the Working Families Party, and sees eye-to-eye with them on virtually every major issue. While the mayor and the governor politely sparred over de Blasio's proposal to create a tax on the wealthy, they are trying to bury the hatchet over the WFP's backing.

Should the endorsement come through, it's a major political chip that the mayor can later play in the Cuomo casino. And if his push fails, the mayor still gets an A for effort from the governor's team. De Blasio also carried a bone for the state's Democratic alpha dog when he introduced him at last week's Democratic convention on Long Island.

While de Blasio has sometimes appeared starry-eyed and focused too heavily on one issue (read: pre-K), he's also played politics pretty well for a guy who's yet to move into Gracie Mansion. He all but installed Melissa Mark-Viverito as City Council Speaker in City Hall's East Wing and is showing he can play footsie with the governor when it counts. This could be the beginning of a beautiful frenemyship.

Bob Hardt

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