Careers are made and broken at the Apollo Theater, and now it's a potential factor in the mayoral race as the Mayor continues to face criticism for not attending tonight's debate there. Various black leaders, including a Bloomberg supporter, plus government watchdog groups, think that the Mayor should attend. Gothamist thinks it's dumb for Mayor Bloomberg to miss this debate, as it would have been a smart move to go into a minority community, but anyone who has followed the mayor could have seen this coming: The man doesn't like to deal with his political adversaries until it's absolutely critical; you have to hand it to the Ferrer campaign to take advantage of it. However, if we have to hear about it for a long time, it's going to make us crazy.
The NY Times's coverage looks at whether or not it's smart for the Ferrer campaign to pound this issue into the pavement, and adds that that the Ferrer campaign is trying to keep this issue alive as long as possible, in an effort to win as many news cycles as possible. They also have this choice passage:
Mr. Bloomberg lashed out at Mr. Ferrer in unusually strong terms yesterday and blamed the whole issue on "the political silly season."
The mayor, referring to the debate, said that Mr. Ferrer would have to explain why "he didn't do anything" during his years as the Bronx borough president, "and after he left office, all of a sudden the Bronx starts booming with a new borough president and a new mayor in office."
Mr. Bloomberg also assailed Mr. Sharpton personally - adding to the campaign-season souring of their relationship after four years of mutual praise, when Mr. Sharpton often hailed the mayor for aiding Harlem and black New Yorkers.
"He's appearing arrogant for the first time in his mayoralty, and that's surprising," Mr. Sharpton said in an interview yesterday. "Many of us found him endearing for a long time because he was accessible and inclusive. Now he seems defensive, nasty, mean-spirited, and is arrogantly forcing his debate preferences on everyone else."
The Mayor also snarked about Sharpton's residency. If the mayoral race were between Sharpton and Bloomberg, then things would get interesting. And the Mayor has been arrogant many times in his term - it just feels like this is the first time Sharpton has had to choose sides.