After Manton

Can there be another Tom Manton?

He brought his county organization back from the wreckage of the Manes era, managing to impose something resembling unity on a wounded organization. And he did it in the face of massive change, staying ahead of Queens’ radically changing demographics by supporting candidates from emerging ethnic communities.

Speculation has already begun about who the next long-term leader of the party will be. (Azi has something on that here.)

But another question to think about is whether that new leader, no matter who it is, will be able to produce the relative cohesiveness that Manton managed to maintain as a source of the party’s strength.

John Sabini, who briefly ran the organization before Manton took over, says that it’s possible, under one condition:

“If someone were to come along and be the inclusive fellow that Tom Manton was, then yes. Most political leaders — and I started out as an insurgent under Donald Manes — most political leaders have to have interest groups and minority groups beat their organization before they’re dragged into the new world. He brought the party into the new world himself.”

— Josh Benson After Manton