the racie for gracie

What You Missed in the First Mayoral Debate

Tallest Candidate:  Bill de Blasio, by half a Lhota.

Purplest Purple Tie: Joe Lhota.

Most Frequently-Mentioned Previous Mayors:
Michael Bloomberg: Eighteen mentions.
Rudy Giuliani: Nine mentions.
David Dinkins: Two mentions.

Meanest Thing Said About Mayor Bloomberg: “I guess when he said that, Mayor Bloomberg was feeling lonely and he wanted more billionaires to hang out with.” — de Blasio on Mayor Bloomberg saying that more billionaires moving to the city would be a “godsend.”

Most Easily Disprovable Hyperbole: Joe Lhota twice claimed that Bill de Blasio wanted police to “sit down and have coffee” with “biker groups,” like those involved in that attack of Alexian Lien. De Blasio has said he wants the NYPD to communicate to biker groups that disruptive behavior won’t be tolerated, but he never mentioned sitting down over coffee. 

Most Not Easily Disprovable Hyperbole: “Every career politician that ever says they are only going to raise taxes on the wealthy ends up also raising taxes on the middle class. It’s never happened anywhere in this country where they have just raised taxes on the wealthy.” — Joe LhotaThis probably has happened, right?

Number of Times Joe  Lhota Was Asked Whether the City Would Be Less Safe Under Bill de Blasio: Three, for some reason. (Lhota said maybe, “because he’s untested.”)

Number of Minutes Until the Phrase “Tale of Two Cities” Was First Uttered: 24 minutes, by Joe Lhota.

Number of Minutes Until the Phrase “Tale of Two Cities” Was Uttered a Second Time: 56 minutes, by Bill de Blasio. 

The Seven Most Concrete Policy Differences Between Lhota and De Blasio:

• Lhota would keep Ray Kelly on as NYPD commissioner. De Blasio wouldn’t.

• Lhota opposes a proposed waste station at 91st street in Manhattan. De Blasio supports it.

• De Blasio would charge rent to charter schools “that have resources.” Lhota wouldn’t charge rent to any.

• De Blasio says developers should be required to build affordable housing on any land opened up for development by the city. Lhota thinks that’s unconstitutional unless the land was formerly owned by the city or state.

• De Blasio wants to raise taxes on individuals making $500,000 or more. Lhota wants to lower taxes.

• Lhota wants to “delay Obamacare” for one year. De Blasio doesn’t.

• De Blasio wouldn’t have given Fresh Direct a big subsidy to stay in the Bronx. Lhota would have.

Debate Line Most Blatantly Stolen From Ronald Reagan: “Bill, there you go again.” — Joe Lhota

Most Interested in Winning the Staten Island Vote: Joe Lhota, who pointed out that he kept tolls low for Staten Islanders while MTA chief. Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, seemed to go out of his way to mention that Lhota attended a “Staten Island tea party meeting,” as if its location in Staten Island made it even worse. 

Most Effort Spent Tying Opponent to Republican Party: Bill de Blasio:

Most Effort Spent Trying to Distance Oneself From Republican Party: Joe Lhota.

Biggest Dodge: Asked what his “Plan B” would be to fund universal pre-k if Albany doesn’t approve a tax hike on the wealthy, De Blasio merely reiterated, “We will get it passed in Albany because we are going to say it’s fair for the wealthy to pay more so we can do better.”

Most Sheepish Defense of One’s Sports Affinities: “I happened to grow up in Massachusetts, that was my parents’ choice, but the fact is I grew up with those teams up there and I’m a loyal person and you cannot leave behind the teams you grew up with, so I hope people will understand a real sports fan doesn’t change their color. — Red Sox/Patriots/Celtics fan Bill de Blasio.

Two Characteristics of Joe Lhota’s Blood, Ranked in Ascending Order of How Dangerous They Sound:

2: “New York City has been in my blood right from the very, very beginning.” — Joe Lhota on his deep New York roots.
1: “My blood is actually pinstripe blue.”  Joe Lhota on being a Yankee fan

Most Vague Tweet Sent During the Debate: Because he’s over-hyped? Because he loves Jesus? Because he can’t throw a football? Unclear.

Number of Times Joe Lhota Mentioned That His Name Was Joe Lhota in His Closing Statement: Two.

Winner: Bill de Blasio. Joe Lhota did fine and probably made a pretty good first impression on the many New Yorkers who knew pretty much nothing about him. But with de Blasio up by 40 or 50 points in the polls, Lhota needs a race-altering event to come out of these debates, and there wasn’t one tonight.