Bill de Blasio has just completed his first year in office, but his press clips are starting to make him sound like a lame duck. Today’s New York Times story on de Blasio’s deteriorating relationship with the police is based on “dozens of interviews in recent weeks” with police officers and “senior police leadership.” But in a classic sign of a political team already looking to shift blame, the most damaging anecdote is the one that begins the story, and it clearly signals discomfort within the mayor’s team.
The story is headlined “In Police Rift, Mayor de Blasio’s Missteps Included Thinking It Would Pass,” which really does sum up the in-depth piece quite well. But it also signifies a sense of frustration from those around the mayor that too many of his errors are unforced, and that his lack of focus is materially damaging the administration’s image. Here is how the story opens:
Not long after Mayor Bill de Blasio sat beside the Rev. Al Sharpton at a July summit meeting on police reform, a political adviser gave the mayor a blunt assessment: You have a problem with the cops.
Rank-and-file officers felt disrespected by the mayor, the adviser explained, and were dismayed to see Mr. Sharpton, a longtime critic of the New York Police Department, embraced at City Hall.