Mayor de Blasio broke his vow of verbal non-violence against Governor Cuomo yesterday, throwing out his Gandhi t-shirt and blowing up any remaining rickety bridge he may have had with the leader of Albany.
In an extraordinary interview with NY1 Political Anchor Errol Louis, de Blasio let loose on the governor saying he showed "a lack of leadership" by not pushing for the city's agenda in the waning days of the legislative session.
"I don't believe the Assembly had a real working partner in the governor or the Senate in terms of getting things done for the people of this city and, in many cases, the people of this state,'' said the mayor, who later echoed in his comments in a talk with City Hall reporters.
Like Popeye who "can't stands no more", the mayor gulped his spinach and then took a bigger swing at his Bluto.
"What I found was, he engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machinations, and what we've often seen is, if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows," said de Blasio, who then went on vacation with his family in an undisclosed location, perhaps envisioning a "Cape Fear" scenario with Cuomo in mad pursuit.
These are the strongest words that a mayor has had for a governor since Ed Koch left City Hall in 1990. But hyped-up arguments like this were common for Koch, who enjoyed jousting with just about anyone before even having his morning coffee. De Blasio has repeatedly avoided conflicts with Cuomo – even when he was getting slagged by the governor semi-anonymously in the press.
The mayor yesterday engaged in some political primal scream therapy but it's unclear if it will cure what ails him. He holds no cards over a dysfunctional legislature and an intransigent governor, Meanwhile, he just cashed in any of his remaining chips by essentially calling Cuomo a sell-out.
De Blasio is banking on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie fighting for his agenda in the Capitol next year – but those other two men in the room are ready to put his head on a pitchfork. And if he thought he deserved more than one year of mayoral control of the city schools before he slammed the governor and the Senate, it's unclear what he's getting next year.
With her name fully attached to her statement, Cuomo Communications Director Melissa DeRosa firmly tweaked the mayor by saying: "For those new to the process, it takes coalition building and compromise to get things done in government. We wish the Mayor well on his vacation."
But like those upstate fugitives, de Blasio can only hide for so long on vacation as he wears his Che Guevera beret. Welcome to a very hot war in July.