Inside a morning show studio in Times Square, the molten core of capitalism, the former Sandinista mayor of New York confirmed he is running for president.
Outside, under the serene countenance of a 10-story Gap ad and a rotating neon one for the state-run Chinese press agency Xinhua, everybody was having an amazing time booing the hell out of him.
At the Good Morning America barricades, a contingency from East Brooklyn Congregations assembled, carrying signs (“Stop stealing from seniors”) protesting de Blasio’s slowness to build senior housing. Behind them, the New York City Police Benevolent Association (the police union, currently supporting the officer who placed Eric Garner in a lethal chokehold) climbed up on the stone steps with whistles and orange foam fingers, which read “LIAR.”
At first, competing chants:
“NO. FRIEND. TO LABOR.”
“NO. FRIEND. TO SENIORS.”
But eventually the entire situation melded into one big “LIAR” chant, subsuming a variety of other chants about inability to run the city and so forth, and uniting the people. Teen tourists put on foam fingers and joined in. A pair of women “on holiday” shouted “LIE-AHHR.”
Another family of tourists came up and asked not-quite-audible questions about what the protest was about (audible answer: “because he’s an asshole”), and one clad in a black Houston Rockets hat followed it up with “Why is he a liar?” Occasionally, people would walk up, ask what was going on, and laugh.
Setting aside Bill de Blasio, human man, and whatever critiques and commendations you may want to bestow upon him, and whether de Blasio has a chance (since you really never know), and whether there’s a real darkness in this kind of joy: People are having a lot of fun.
On Wednesday night, a jogger ran past the mayor’s mansion and shouted, “Don’t do it, Bill!” Told that he was, in fact, doing it, the jogger told NY1’s Grace Rauh, “I can’t believe it. Nobody wants it.” This is practically straight out of last week’s Onion story where the joke is de Blasio’s own PAC begins a campaign to stop him from running: “Our team of canvassers will knock on his door every 20 minutes to personally beg him not to do this.” People posted flyers at the YMCA in Brooklyn he inexplicably frequents that say he wouldn’t be allowed inside if he ran for president.
“I can’t even express…the ludicrous-y of this,” an incensed woman begins in a person-on-the-street package NY1 ran last night (three to two people saying he has no chance, though one of the two is a kid, but she counts, even if her vote wouldn't).
“I’m not saying that,” the woman continued when asked if she thought de Blasio would be a bad candidate. “We don’t need another candidate. We don’t need another candidate. And we have issues here in New York that he needs to pay attention to.”
Anyway, everybody had a grand time on Thursday morning. Said the mayor inside, “A little serenading.”