Madonna pushed her relationship with the city close to the breaking point last week, claiming that New York “is not the exciting place it used to be,” others looked back to the glory days of the eighties, too.
Hillary Clinton hit Barack Obama on Reverend Jeremiah Wright even as critics slammed her for fibbing about Bosnian sniper fire, Sean Combs smacked down rumors that he was involved with Tupac's shooting, and other events of the week that was.
First 79-year-old Ethel Tropez endured the floods of Hurricane Katrina in her hometown of Live Oak, Texas (no, we are not making these names up), and then she comes to New York City, all refugee style, and is promptly scalded to within an inch of her life by her shower at the swanky Chandler Hotel in midtown.
The scary mini terror bombing on Times Square was immediately forgotten amid the much bigger detonation of Eliot Spitzer’s political career. Echoes continued through the week: Ashley Alexandra Dupré, the call girl from Room 871 of the Mayflower Hotel, pleaded with Empire Staters not think of her as a “monster.” Silda Wall Spitzer pushed her husband not to resign but stood by him as he abdicated. The new governor, Harlem’s David Paterson, prepared to step up and face Albany’s $4 billion budget deficit; State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno stifled his glee and announced it was “time to move forward.” (The one predictable exception to grown-up behavior was on Wall Street, where traders celebrated the demise of their onetime antagonist amid the biggest one-day stock rally in five years.)
While political watchers spent last week looking ahead to primaries in Ohio and Texas, the candidates engaged in a serious debate — over a photo of Barack Obama wearing Somali clothing. (An Obama staffer claimed Hillary Clinton had leaked the shot to make him look Islamic; Clinton’s campaign manager said no one had claimed the photo was “divisive” until Obama and his new friend at the Post played it up.) Latecomer Ralph Nader, unsafe at any speed as far as most liberals are concerned, moseyed into the presidential race. Connecticut senator Christopher Dodd backed Obama; Jersey governor Jon Corzine rushed to aid the Clintons in Cleveland.
While some looked to the stars last week — awaiting a lunar eclipse, spy-satellite explosion, or the arrival of J.Lo's twins — the real action was taking place in the streets. Barack Obama seemed poised to kick Hillary Clinton to the curb after resounding victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii, the defections of key superdelegates, and the endorsement of the almighty Teamsters. The Clintons swung back with attacks on the junior senator's wordiness — and accused him of plagiarizing his pal Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts — while plotting a delegate raid of their own. John McCain pummeled the Times after the paper dredged up an eight-year-old rumor about improprieties with a lobbyist; his camp denied the story.
The year’s first blanket of snow dropped from the skies two days before Valentine’s Day, but it soon washed away — and on the ground, heartbreak abounded. Barack Obama spoiled the Clintons’ romantic holiday, beating out Bill for a Grammy (with his reading of The Audacity of Hope) and stomping Hillary in eight primaries. Roger Clemens told a congressional committee that best bud Andy Pettitte was mistaken in his recollection that Clemens took human growth hormone, maintaining that wife Debbie was the only family member who’d done so.
When the smoke (and, along Broadway, confetti) cleared last week, the great Democratic heavyweight bout had ended in a draw. Hillary Clinton wasn't shedding any tears — she won in New York, New Jersey, and California — though she also had to loan her own campaign $5 million. Barack Obama managed to take Connecticut, which along with a number of other victories left pundits debating who was really ahead in the delegate count. John McCain cruised to victory on the GOP undercard, knocking out Mitt Romney and possibly TKOing an independent bid from Mayor Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, the FBI took a long, hard look at State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's mysterious consulting business. Local housing foreclosures hit new highs, even in Manhattan. The city medical examiner ruled that Heath Ledger died from "acute intoxication" owing to a lethal overdose of prescription medications.