Thompson on Being More Populist

Outside of a fund-raising breakfast on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan this morning, I asked Comptroller Bill Thompson about the more populist tone he's adopted since he began to run for mayor.

Thompson said, "I think if you look over the years, I think I stood up and whether it was things like the M.T.A., whether it was disagreeing with the mayor, before, on budget cuts and how it unjustly impact boroughs outside Manhattan, I think I stood up on a number of different issues. So, I think it might be a slightly different tone, it's a different office. And I think that is part of the reason. Running for mayor and running for comptroller and being comptroller are two different things. I think people think people look for a different thing in comptroller than they do for mayor."

I asked how he intended to address his relatively low name recognition after eight years in citywide office, and Thompson responded that he worked with the mayor when it was right, stood up to him when it was necessary, and avoided taking the kinds of "cheap shots" that lead to lots of media attention.

Thompson then walked inside to speak to the crowd. The event was closed to the press. Thompson on Being More Populist