Last night, in the final 2013 mayoral debate, Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio both claimed the mantle of Rocky Balboa. Hosted by WNBC-TV and co-sponsored by NBC New York, Telemundo Nueva York, The Wall Street Journal and the New York City Campaign Finance Board, the debate was a free flowing affair featuring some serious discussion and some personal irritation. While not a nasty affair, it nonetheless had both candidates displaying frustration and irritation: Lhota at his lack of attention and momentum against what he views as a vastly less qualified opponent, and de Blasio at his going-nowhere opponent constantly painting him as “dangerous” and talking about David Dinkins and the city’s ’80s & early ’90s troubles.
As Lhota walked in for his post-debate Q&A the press pack converged in on him, prompting some audible consternation and a little shoving. The early crush of attention dissolved a few minutes later, however, as Bill de Blasio came into the far side of the large room. Like ball bearings to a more powerful magnet, the press pack around Lhota suddenly thinned, drawn by the more potent presence across the room.
Here is most of Lhota’s Q&A. Although I stayed with Lhota longer than most of the press, I moved to de Blasio as a Czech TV reporter began asking Lhota about his Czech heritage.
Update – de Blasio Q&A: