Al Sharpton knows how to play this game. Though he endorsed the opposition last election, he has since been a good friend to Mayor Bloomberg for years, keeping reasonably quiet even when you’d expect him to talk up — like during the term limits fight. “Al Sharpton has been very stabilizing influence behind the scenes, which is good,” Bloomberg admitted to the Irish Voice, “and Ray [Kelly] reaches out to him, I reach out to him. Some people say, ‘How can you talk to him?’ Because we need the help.”
The Mayor and Sharpton break bread together, they go to Washington together, and they understand each other well enough that Sharpton can endorse the doomed mayoral bid of Bill Thompson without any blowback. It won’t make any difference, it keeps Thompson from being embarrassed, and it preserves the Reverend’s street cred. Everybody wins. Well, in one sense, anyway.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 17, 2009