Sunday, April 20, 2014

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

NY1 ItCH: Filling in the Blanks Before the Clock Strikes Midnight

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Bill de Blasio is making a to-do list and checking it twice.

Police Commissioner? Hired.

Schools Chancellor? Signed up (Finally.)

Dealing with those nagging questions about his daughter? Done (He hopes.)

While this will hardly be remembered as a breath-taking, FDR-like transition between mayoral administrations, there is something to be said about being slow and deliberate when rolling out a new team. While many of us may prefer a hare to a tortoise, let’s remember who won that race.

If there’s a consistent theme in de Blasio’s pokey transition, it’s been staying on message. After practically mugging reporters to be interviewed throughout much of his political career, the mayor-elect has been positively Garbo-esque since trouncing Joe Lhota on Nov. 5th.

Emerging occasionally like a groundhog has overall been a smart move by de Blasio because reporters are hanging on his every word. Each de Blasio utterance has become presidentially parsed and over-parsed – including his brief but strong remarks yesterday about the Central Park Five. It’s good practice for the mayor-elect because that’s how the media will be treating him for the next four years.

And while he’s not holding twice-daily Ed Koch-style media briefings, de Blasio is maintaining his corny humor with reporters that’s reminiscent of Phil Dunphy, the well-meaning but goofy father on “Modern Family.” (But do we really need to hear the mayor-elect moon about his lovely Chirlane one more time?)

All in all, the transition has given us a few clues about what the first 100 days of the de Blasio administration will be like. But there are still many more questions remaining on a very long to-do list.

Bob Hardt

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