Incoming NYC mayor continues to anger progressives

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The upcoming transition at City Hall in New York City isn’t going any more smoothly for Gotham progressives than it has been since the questionable ranked-choice voting primary election in June. It’s widely expected that former Republican and Police Officer Eric Adams will be the Democratic candidate in the fall and, by default, the next mayor. But Adams gave a press briefing this week with Governor Andrew Cuomo where he once again sounded more like a Republican than his actual GOP opponent in November. And on top of that, he flatly rejected the idea that he was getting the “endorsement” of Andrew Cuomo, despite the Governor’s praise of him and his candidacy. Anyone familiar with New York City politics would tell you that we’re witnessing some “interesting times.” (NY Post)

Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams and Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed the city’s surging shootings, progressive politics and even the governor’s sexual harassment scandal during a joint news conference on Wednesday.

Ahead of a meeting with community leaders in Brooklyn to discuss the Big Apple’s epidemic of gun violence, Adams — who narrowly won last week’s Democratic primary — decried the city’s increasing lawlessness and called for the reversal of recent soft-on-crime initiatives to stem a surge in shootings among teen gang members.

Adams warned that the Big Apple was turning into a free-for-all and said that the decline needed to be nipped in the bud.

“We have thrown up our hands and we have surrendered our city,” he said.

This is some decidedly unfriendly commentary from the presumptive Mayor-in-waiting if you happen to be AOC or any of the progressive leaders in the Big Apple. He’s focusing on the lawlessness in the streets and the city’s failure to support its own cops. The idea that the crime surge needs to be “nipped in the bud” is rather humorous since the “bud” has already blossomed into a full flower of violent crime, riots, and unlivable conditions. But at least he’s getting the message right.

Adams’ handling of Cuomo’s place in all of this was a balancing act that probably didn’t come off very well, but was likely the best he could do. When asked about the ongoing investigations into Cuomo’s various scandals, he said that “an investigation is taking place. Let the investigation go to its outcome.” That’s the default answer for a member of your own party who is in a lot of trouble. He wasn’t defending Cuomo, but he wasn’t calling for his head on a plate either.

But the idea that he was receiving an official endorsement from Andrew Cuomo was rejected as well. Adams said, “I didn’t get an endorsement today. The governor said he would work with me and I’m sure he would have worked with any mayor.”

Ouch. That’s about as much of a rejection as any election winner could dish out to the sitting governor.

Adams went further, saying that the lack of attention to gang violence and illegal guns on the streets was hampering the city’s ability to bring down the violent crime levels. He said, “There’s a lack of fear of being caught with a gun, which is very dangerous.” That’s not going to sit well with progressive Democrats in the Big Apple who want to push for restrictions on the rights of lawful gun owners while ignoring the gang violence problems and the issue of illegal guns in the hands of felons for fear of being depicted as racist.

Eric Adams may technically be a Democrat by party registration, but the more I hear from him, the more I begin to be hopeful for a better future for New York City. And the voters who have to live with all of the current levels of violence in the streets (or at least those lucky enough to survive it) seem to agree with him in growing numbers.

Exit question: Following the pattern of Michael Bloomberg, if Eric Adams had a successful first term and the violent crime rates go down, could he fend off a primary challenge later by switching back to the GOP and running again? Two years ago I’d have said that was an absurd idea, but I’m not so sure now.