The Progressive Agenda Committee, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nationally focused nonprofit, announced today that it is no longer planning on holding a bipartisan presidential forum on inequality in Iowa this December, due to … oh, what’s that over there? It’s a tweet, it’s a Trumpcopter — no, it’s someone talking about income inequality!
The group argues that the issue its forum aimed to highlight has become an important part of the campaign anyway, according to Politico New York, rendering the event obsolete. “It is clear other efforts beyond the previously planned presidential forum will more effectively advance the cause of fighting income inequality,” executive director Geri Prado told reporters.
Other reasons that the forum may not have effectively advanced the cause include the fact that it was shaping up to be the saddest presidential event of all time, as it seemed somewhat likely that no presidential candidates would even show up. Also, the fact that 54 percent of New Yorkers in a recent poll — which showed that the mayor’s approval rating has reached new lows — said de Blasio spent too much time on national politics. Or maybe the fact that some city politicians had publicly criticized the event while also taking time to make fun of Iowa a bit. Representative Hakeem Jeffries said last month, “It’s not clear to me … that a town hall meeting in the cornfields of Iowa has anything to do with the quality of life of every day New Yorkers." Or maybe the fact that de Blasio finally endorsed Hillary Clinton — making the other candidates feel like going would be like going to a birthday party where they wouldn’t get to eat any cake and would be forced to take turns entertaining the guests by acting as a piñata.
Now that the forum has been extinguished before it could be an embarrassment, we’ll never find out what it’s like to watch a debate or forum where no one complains about the moderators or how they don’t get enough time to speak and is instead incandescently refreshing — even if it’s only because the stage is completely empty.