All-but-out-the-door NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly probably wouldn’t have stuck around even if Bill de Blasio wanted him to. “The reality is the Democratic primary is controlled by extreme elements of the party. The candidates know that, so they have to go to extremes themselves,” Kelly tells Playboy in the December issue. “They were pandering to get votes.” Asked if the candidates were “just full of shit,” Kelly responds, “Absolutely.”
And they acted like his buddies! “I resented it,” Kelly says of being used as a punching bag in the mayoral debates. “They’ll say or do anything to get elected. I know all these people. They all claimed to be friends of mine up until their mayoral campaigns. They’d call me on the phone and ask for information or come over here and sit in this chair to get briefed.”
“I’m talking about all of them,” he adds for clarity.
But he’s not exactly sweating it. “Look, I’m not bragging, but I have the highest job-approval rating of any public official in the city. And I’ve had it consistently,” Kelly says.
On the subject of stop-and-frisk, he even denies that young men of color are resentful. In fact, they love him: “The notion of hatred has been stirred up by a small number of advocacy groups that have done a great job at marketing this concept,” Kelly says. “You might read something snarky on Twitter, but I could take you right now to 125th Street in Harlem and young men will stop me for my picture and give me a very favorable and friendly greeting.”
(Other Ray Kelly fun facts: He watches The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and (obviously) Homeland; he thinks Edward Snowden is “a traitor”; and he’d like to meet Lady Gaga. “No, I’m kidding. Nelson Mandela.”)
And to whoever is next, a simple warning: “It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that if you stop or curtail stop-and-frisk, or if cops are reluctant to do it, violent crimes are going to go up.” Does Bill de Blasio read Playboy?