New terms, lots of candidates, fiercely fought elections, victories and defeats both surprising and not. Lots happened in 2018 New York politics and we’ve distilled the year into our 2018 Year in Photos.
It was Rudy Giuliani Time today on Staten Island’s South Shore, as he swept through in support of Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan. Greeting shoppers at a Hylan Boulevard ShopRite, visiting the NYPD’s 122nd Precinct and stopping at the Arrochar Friendship Club Giuliani was an effective surrogate, drawing attention to Donovan and to the upcoming unusual Spring election on his second visit in five days for Donovan. Our photo gallery of Giuliani’s visit is here.
For Donovan, already well-known on Staten Island, the Giuliani visits have been an effective way to connect with his base. Giuliani remains extraordinarily popular with them and using his star power to draw the base out, rather than attempting to sway non-Donovan voters, is a meaningful boost for Donovan.
Giuliani received an extremely warm reception in all three spots, with a few additional warm wishes shouted from passing cars as he and Donovan walked from the ShopRite to the 122nd Precinct. “Rudy, we need you back” drew an appreciate chuckle.
Dan Donovan’s Saturday morning fundraiser featured Rudy Giuliani. Although Giuliani praised Donovan his primary focus was attacking Democrats, especially President Barack Obama and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Here’s a brief excerpt in which Giuliani essentially lays blame for the December murders of NYPD Detectives Ramos and Liu on Bill de Blasio:
Flashback: Mayor de Blasio in March with a less-harsh view of their relationship.
Photos: Our photo gallery from the Donovan/Giuliani fundraiser is here.
In an unusual moment of agreement Mayor Bill de Blasio and former mayor Rudy Giuliani recently wrote a joint letter to Governor Cuomo and the state legislature urging a continuation of mayoral control of the school system. de Blasio and Giuliani have mostly had critical things to say about each other, with their joint letter a rare counterpoint to their more typical criticism. I asked Mayor de Blasio whether the letter signaled a change in their relationship or whether de Blasio’s 15 months in office has affected his view of Giuliani’s mayoralty.
Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke with the press today following his speech in Brooklyn. Questions during the post-speech “gaggle” included the cost of a special election, his reaction to a New York Republican Party 50 Shades of Grey parody of Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton, Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about Barack Obama, the expected Republican candidate in the 11th Congressional District special election, state legislature financial disclosure forms, the refusal of Port Authority commissioners to accede to Cuomo and Chris Christie’s request to resign, his planned trip to Cuba, congestion pricing, and UFT comments asserting that the governor has shortchanged New York City schools by $2.5 billion.
Here is the full gaggle:
Governor Andrew Cuomo avoided any direct response when asked today about former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about President Barack Obama. Saying that “I haven’t heard the former mayor’s comments on what the context of the statements were,” the governor offered no criticism of Giuliani and only mild support for Obama.
Cuomo’s full Q&A with the press is here.
Detective Rafael Ramos, murdered alongside Detective Wenjian Liu, was buried Saturday amid a sad yet powerful show of support and remembrance. His funeral at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale was attended by an estimated at 25,000 people, predominantly uniformed police officers from New York City and around the country, and many elected officials. Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among those elected officials, with each speaking during the service.
The funeral concluded with a quiet and somber moment as Detective Ramos’s casket was carried out to a waiting hearse. Taps echoed off the front of the church as an NYPD honor guard saluted amid a sea of officers. Thousands remained silently at attention as the honor guard folded the flag covering Detective Ramos’ casket and presented it to his widow and two sons. The silence was broken only by the roar of engines as police helicopters flew overhead in a missing-man formation and scores of motorcycle cops moved past the family into position at the head of a lengthy funeral procession, leading Detective Ramos to his final resting place.
Here are pictures from Glendale.
Joe Lhota concluded his campaign today, with his last scheduled campaign event a joint appearance greeting voters with former mayor Rudy Giuliani at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue. Displaying a sense of relief that the campaign is over, and buoyed by the experienced campaigner accompanying him, Lhota appeared to enjoy his time with voters. Giuliani reveled in the moment, laughing, smiling and joking as greeted well-wishers and posed for photos.
Update #2 – Rudy Unleashed:
Here’s a special look at Rudy Giuliani’s appearance this morning with Joe Lhota.
Update – Mayor Selfie:
Many people took selfies with Lhota and Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani, no stranger to having his picture taken, shared some thoughts about self lies.
Afterwards, Lhota and Giuliani spoke with the press. Here is their full Q&A.
Yesterday Rudy Giuliani joined Joe Lhota on the campaign trail, visiting two senior centers in Staten Island. Giuliani was the dominant presence, touting his record and the changes he wrought on the City as mayor while slamming Bill de Blasio. He also fired off the occasional plug in support of Joe Lhota.
Giuliani and Lhota held two press conferences, one at each stop. This excerpt from their first stop, in Great Kills, captures Giuliani’s message.
Update – Zeroes for Heroes:
In this clip, Rudy Giuliani focuses on the importance of an “independent” mayor, describing “20 years of mayors who’ve been able to say, if it was bad for the city, go to hell.” In describing the value of a “mayor independent of these unions”, Giuliani noted that Lhota “helped negotiate” the municipal union contracts that included two years of no raises – the “double zero” or “zeroes for heroes” contracts of 1995 and 1996.
Update #2 – A Changed City:
The Lhota campaign has not fully figured out how to deal with Mayor Bloomberg. At times Lhota is complimentary of Bloomberg, even highly so. At other times, on particular issues, Lhota can be highly critical. Lhota seems pulled between the reality that he needs Bloomberg-likers as the basic component of any winning coalition he could hope to assemble and his need to offer something new or different. He’s never embraced the role of an unequivocal Bloomberg supporter, and whether a cause or an effect, Bloomberg has reciprocated.
The late reemergence of Mayor Giuliani reminds us of how the city has changed since he left office. Among the many ways that it’s changed are the city’s demographics, expectations of how government should operate and in where political power rests.
I asked Mayor Giuliani how he thinks the city has changed since he left office, and how he thinks that may affect the next mayor.
Republican mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis participated in a televised debate today, hosted by WNBC-TV and co-sponsored by NBC 4 New York, The Wall Street Journal and Telemundo Nueva York. It was a friction-filled face-off, with the candidates down to the last 48 hours of the campaign.
We have video from the candidates’ post-debate media availabilities.
Joe Lhota & Rudy Giuliani: