The race to become the next mayor of New York City was never much of a “race” to begin with. The bare-bones headline of Democrat Eric Adams winning the election in a 66 to 28 drubbing is absolutely a dog-bites-man story. No Republican can win a city-wide race in the current climate and the Republicans signaled their lack of seriousness by nominating perennial crime-fighter Curtis Sliwa. So none of this came as any sort of surprise.
But at a glitzy victory celebration held in a trendy Soho nightclub, Adams appeared to give the city a hint as to precisely what sort of “Democrat” they had just elected. Adams isn’t just “pro-cop” when it comes to law enforcement and fighting crime. He used to be a cop. He’s worn the uniform and walked a beat in the streets of Gotham and that experience stays with him to this day. Further, as his primary opponents tried to point out repeatedly, Adams was a registered Republican for many years before switching parties when he embarked on his political career. In addition to having vowed to support the NYPD and get the city’s spiraling crime rate under control, Adams demonstrated another Republican trait during his remarks last night. He vowed to get the city back to work and to make New York City “one of the most business-friendly cities” in the country.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams drew applause from Big Apple bigwigs like Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at an election night VIP party where he promised to embrace the city’s financial leaders.
“Can we hit reset with our business community? Can I say to you that this is going to become one of the most business-friendly cities?” Adams said to enthusiastic applause from around 100 bold-faced names at the swanky Soho hot spot Zero Bond.
The outgoing Brooklyn borough president and former cop — who trounced his GOP opponent Curtis Sliwa — also promised to spend the city’s nearly $100 billion budget more wisely.
Adams may have a D after his name, but he sure talks a lot like a GOP candidate. He even signaled some hints of fiscal conservatism when he criticized the frivolous spending policies of outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio. “Year after year after year, we’re taking $97 billion dollars and giving you an inferior product and we’re supposed to act like everything is all right? Damn it, it’s not alright,” he said.
Adams had won the endorsement of numerous Fortune 500 CEOs from the Big Apple as well as the police unions. The fact that he failed to receive the endorsement of New York’s execrable teachers’ unions was seen more as a badge of honor than a failure. And his promise to get students back into the classrooms was clearly a hit with the city’s parents.
You can expect Adams to work with the police rather than against them and move back toward broken windows police policies. And he will clearly be starting his first term with a lot more respect and support from the NYPD than de Blasio ever enjoyed. I’m never what you would call an optimist when it comes to New York politics, but even I found myself feeling a bit hopeful when I woke up this morning.
There is one question that wasn’t really addressed during the campaign that we’re going to need to hear the answer to soon, however. Will Eric Adams stick with de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for all public workers without the option of weekly testing instead of taking the shots, including the police? Or will he come back to the table and negotiate a more reasonable plan? We still have a couple of months to go before we’ll find that out.