Monday, November 3, 2014
THE BEGINNING OF THE END?
BRATTON, de BLASIO, AND McCRAY:
AN ANGRY LOOKING CHIRLANE McCRAY AND
A CONSTIPATED LOOKING BILL BRATTON.
IS THIS TOWN BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH?
TAGS: MAYOR de BLASIO, BILL BRATTON, CHIRLANE McCRAY,
AN AWKWARD THREESOME, NYC POLITICS, NYPD TOP BRASS,
McCRAY MORE INVOLVED IN DAY TO DAY CITY HALL BUSINESS,
THE “TWO FOR ONE” MAYOR
(Monday November 3, 2014 NYC) Anyone who was old enough to be paying attention to presidential politics in 1991 can probably recall when they were first introduced to Bill and Hillary Clinton. During the arduous primary season Hillary gave Bill fits with her often offensive, tone deaf, spontaneous remarks about women in general and her in detail. We learned she was a Yale trained lawyer who worked for one of the most prestigious law firms in Arkansas while her husband was in and out of the with her Arkansas Attorney General’s or Governor’s office for over a decade. She was a smart independent well educated highly respected person in her own right and would not “stand by” her man nor be b locked out by his long political shadow. As the nation soon found out after Clinton took the oath of office in January, 1992, the country had indeed elected “two for one”; Hillary would not be content to simply play the largely ceremonial role of “First Lady”. Most of us can probably still remember the disasters she caused most notably her directing a White House task force that would develop a “health care reform initiative”. It failed so miserably that she began to shrink as her husband’s stock continued to rise.
What New Yorkers have begun to learn this past weekend is that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray will be more “Hillary-esque” in that McCray is now basically a Deputy Mayor. The Mayor relies on her for advice in policy and personnel. With no “official” title beyond First Lady, the Mayor’s wife routinely sits in on CompStat meetings as well as meetings with his Cabinet. Mayor de Blasio calls his wife his “most trusted” advisor and while that may be good to keep their marriage healthy now that they are under the spotlighted scrutiny of the NYC media, it does not necessarily bode well for everyone. Certainly the NYPD Commissioner, Bill Bratton is learning this the hard way and suddenly has to realize that his learning curve is steep.
Some very credible, highly regarded sources inside One Police Plaza have spoken anonymously not for attribution saying that Bratton and de Blasio had a very heated exchange last Friday in the wake of the abrupt resignation of Chief of Department Philip Banks. McCray had never kept her views on Bratton close to the vest and it was widely known in the circles of power that McCray rallied long and hard to have Banks appointed as NYPD Commissioner.
While, like her or hate her, Hillary Clinton is an Ivy League trained lawyer so she did bring some measured consideration to her role as First Lady and within the Clinton White House. Bill Clinton often boasted that his wife is smarter than he. Her efforts at health care reform were so terrible that it took her several years thereafter to return to the public arena and at that time she announced she was running for Senate for an open seat in New York.
McCray, on the other hand is a self-described “poet, writer, editor, communications professional (whatever the hell that is) as well as an activist, community organizer and political figure”. She was a long association with controversial activist Al Sharpton and was a paid speech writer on his staff as well as being vet active in his National Action Network. The question here is, what, aside from being married to the Mayor qualifies her to attend top level meetings with the NYPD Command Brass and other City agencies? Perhaps her insider access while move her to write poignant poems about Police Officers and Sanitation Workers. Obviously her relationship with Al Sharpton has already given the formerly obese blowhard, now a slimmer, wrinkled, blowhard a seat at the table at the highest levels of our municipal government.
Bill Bratton, love him or hate him, has a long, if not impressive resume’. Not a native New Yorker (a huge knock IMHO) he worked his way up from a Boston street cop to hold two of the highest municipal law enforcement positions in the country. He was also a successful business man and sat on many corporate boards. His return after a 20 absence from the scene here in NYC was seen as surprising by many while others views it right from the get go as a bad move for Bratton. As long as there is festering turmoil in the corridors inside One Police Plaza and bickering with City Hall the morale within the ranks of the NYPD will continue to plummet. Every Officer knows that the Mayor certainly “does not have our backs” and it appears Bratton will be at least in the short term spending his time and energies extinguishing the angry fires of political influence coming his way from City Hall. In the meantime their remain a few top slots to fill upstairs in One Police Plaza and the choices he makes in the next few days will send a clear signal to the City and, most importantly, to the men and women of the NYPD.
De Blasio and Bratton have largely squandered the past 10 months and Bratton in particular seems to not have a coherent vision for the NYPD moving “forward” in a City that is now predominately minority. There has been much talk about abandoning the “Broken Window Theory” of policing but, for some, that is akin to not going home with the one who brought you to the dance. The entire issue of SQF remains oddly stalemated in legal limbo and one would have thought Bratton would step into the breach and set a course that the Courts would find more amenable. But that hasn’t happened and it may be quite some time before anything does.
If Bill Bratton winds up serving out his four year appointment, that would come as a shock to many. That de Blasio is almost certain to be a one term Mayor is just plainly obvious; he is way in over his head and his job does not allow much leeway for “on the job training”.
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