City Democrats Shocked that Hired Hatchet Flack Lacks Political Integrity

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Some people think Democratic communications consultant Howard Wolfson is disloyal. As a New York State Dem strategist in 2005, he railed against Mayor Bloomberg's hubris, and lobbed scathing criticism at him for the money he spent during his reelection race. As a hired hit man, he was key in killing Bloomberg's West Side stadium plan, and his bid to hold nonpartisan elections in the city. "For four years, this out-of-touch mayor has pursued the wrong priorities," he said in 2005. "Millions in slick advertising won't erase that failed record."

Now, of course, Wolfson is working for Bloomberg's Independent/Republican reelection campaign. And that's not the only inconsistency in his recent political life. Even though he is friends with Huma Abedin, and often used her fiancé, Anthony Weiner, as a surrogate while he oversaw Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid, he worked hard to crush and even humiliate Weiner to keep him out of the current mayoral race. He'd worked for Bill Thompson, the other contender for mayor, in a previous comptroller race — and now he's opposing him, too. These about-faces have many in state politics in a state of disbelief, according to the Times.

This strikes us as extremely naïve. You really expected a political hired gun, whose job is to fight hard, fight dirty, and win at all costs, to have an interior moral compass that strictly guides every decision and tactic? Wolfson would be terrible at what he does if that were the case. This is a man who continued ruthless attacks against Barack Obama, on behalf of Hillary, even after it was impossible for her to beat the future president. He did it because that was his job, and that's what he was paid to do. You don't have to respect him as a person, but you can't help but respect him as a tactician. Which, of course, is exactly why Mayor Bloomberg hired the former foe in the first place.

In About-Face, Wolfson Now Works for Bloomberg [NYT]