Remember Mayor Bloomberg’s eloquent, impassioned defense of the planned Islamic center a few blocks from ground zero? For those in favor of allowing the complex to be built, it was an inspiring moment. (That number includes the majority of Manhattanites and a minority of everybody else.) But we’re talking about Mayor Bloomberg here: He’s usually better at handing out bitter jabs than soaring rhetoric, right? Surely someone else wrote that speech for him in its entirety.
Not so, reports Michael Barbaro in the Times today:
He asked his aides to draft a speech that would not only explain his position, but would also forcefully rebut the project’s critics and reframe the debate. On Aug. 3, a few hours before the speech was to be delivered, his top speechwriter, Francis Barry, showed the mayor the text. “It’s not nearly strong enough,” Mr. Bloomberg said, Mr. Barry recalled.
Jeez, Mr. Mayor. Where’s that elegance the rest of the time?