One is the city's public housing. The other is the pace of closing Rikers Island. Both are clubs the governor uses to whack the mayor, repeatedly.
"I don't think a progressive administration leaves people in NYCHA with no housing and mold and potential lead," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in an interview on NY1 Wednesday.
In the next breath, he said, "I don't believe a progressive administration says it takes me 10 years to build a jail."
It's no accident Cuomo is seizing on both. Both are sharply in need of changes.
In the governor's telling, that both need changes underscore how de Blasio's falls short in delivering, not just preaching, progressive priorities. And, Cuomo points out, de Blasio's failures jeopardize the very people the mayor purports to champion.
"These tend to be poor, minorities in every case," Cuomo said.
The criticism has de Blasio repeatedly pushing back. He calls NYCHA underfunded but improving. As for Cuomo's move to shut a Rikers wing?
"It's idiotic," de Blasio said.
He spoke in his weekly NY1 segment Monday.
"If the state government said, 'Hey, here's a problem. Let's work together, fix it,' we would happily do it. But that's never the conversation. It's never the conversation," de Blasio said. "It's, gotcha. It's, how we could embarass you."
Speaking of embarassing, de Blasio brought up the 2015 escape of two state prisoners.
"We have never had a jailbreak from our prison like that," the mayor said.
Cuomo says he may call a NYCHA state of emergency. There already is a federal monitor for Rikers, and there could soon be one for NYCHA, too.
"It's repugnant to me that we need the Trump Administration to come to New York City and tell us we're violating civil rights on Rikers Island, or for the Trump Administration to come into the New York City Housing Authority and say, 'You're mistreating people and you're incompetent in your management,'" Cuomo said.
There is no indication now that the president himself is taking a close interest in improving NYCHA or Rikers. But by dropping Trump's name, Cuomo appears to be making a point at de Blasio's expense. That is, even the Trump White House would better manage major parts of New York City's government than its own mayor.