At one point in Rep. Anthony Weiner’s rounds at the Waldorf-Astoria last night, he told reporters that we “can’t be too glib about the idea that money was an enormous factor. There has never been anything like this.” But, a guy from the Sun asked, what about Tom Golisano? “Tom Golisano invested a fraction of what Mike Bloomberg did over a much larger area, A,” Weiner began. “B, Tom Golisano did not have the advantages of being the incumbent, and C, did not have people like your editors so deep in thrall for so long.” And the key to the media angle, Weiner said, was that the people guiding the dailies’ Bloomberg-friendly coverage were not residents of the “other” New York. “Look at the fact that polls show that something like 85 percent of all people making more than $100,000 a year are voting for Mike Bloomberg. That’s every repor–Well, it might not be every reporter. It’s every editor, it’s every TV producer, it’s every opinion leader, it’s every donor to the other guy. It’s tough. It’s tough, believe me.”
Yes, tough to convince an editor that you’re worth 100 grand! And tough to win a campaign against a guy willing to spend $70 million. But while noting that “this is a moment not for Democrats to be flogging ourselves,” Weiner also said, “We do have to look in the mirror and realize that we have lost now four straight municipal elections and we have to start figuring out how we change things to do these elections better. We are no longer a party that can simply say, ‘We’re going to rely on demographics, or rely on tribal politics, or even rely on the Democratic organization.’ We have to run campaigns that are grounded in ideas for how we’re going to govern.” Later, he added: “Ferrer didn’t run a bad campaign. He ran a campaign that might have faced insurmountable odds. But I do think we need to learn something. It would be a mistake if Democrats simply say, ‘The reason we lost was we got outspent.’ That’s not the only reason we lost.”
The guy from the Sun asked Weiner what issue might separate a Democrat from the pack in 2009. “I predict traffic congestion will be huge in 2009,” he said.
It was a joke. However, if Weiner is accidentally correct in four years, he has (of course) already proposed a policy solution (click here). Talk about laying groundwork!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 9, 2005