When Michael Bloomberg opens the doors of his spacious East Side townhouse on June 20 to hold a fund-raiser for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, he will be encouraging what may be the unlikeliest citywide candidacy of 2009.
“I decided to take the first step on the journey to possibly running for Mayor of New York City,” Mr. Markowitz said in an interview Monday evening.
Although he cautioned that he isn’t a candidate yet, he did say, referring to the other citywide elected offices, “I wouldn’t run for Public Advocate. Nor Comptroller.”
It should be said here that Mr. Markowitz is something of a showman, leading borough-wide weight-loss drives, erecting signs telling drivers things like, “Leaving Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit!” And he is wont to refer to Brooklyn—frequently and loudly—as a city unto itself.
But the exuberance which helped Mr. Markowitz win a tough race for Borough President in 2001 is just as likely to hurt him in a run for Mayor. Could people ever take him seriously?
“Your question goes to the heart of questions I’ve asked myself,” he said. “I can’t change my personality. Nor will I! This is who I am.”
“What figure in government is a little bit like me? LaGuardia. Ed Koch.”
“The bottom line,” he continued, “is I think you can run to be Mayor of New York City and serve everyone. As the Mayor says, and I say, you have five children, and you love them all. There is no question that I am a Brooklyn guy. I would not for a moment say that I’m not. As Mayor, you have to serve the entire city, and be fair and equitable and balanced to all five children.”
So Mr. Markowitz, at least, isn’t lacking in confidence.
As for everyone else ….
“Oh, please,” said Baruch College public-policy professor Doug Muzzio, when asked to discuss Mr. Markowitz’s Mayoral prospects.
“New York,” he concluded brusquely, “doesn’t need a cheerleader.”
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