John Liu sat down with Azi Paybarah for a mid-morning, medium-rare hamburger (“and tell him not to press down on it, O.K.?”), and the comptroller-elect said he won’t be as confrontational with the mayor as he seemed a couple days after the election. So what will his office be like?
“An electromagnetic force,” he said, “it’s unlike gravity. Gravitational force is only one direction, it’s an attractive force. Electromagnetic forces can be attractive or repulsive.”
That’s more conciliatory than his public rejection of the mayor’s coffee date, and when he later gave a boilerplate answer about striving to “work closely” with the mayor, an aide seemed to steer him away from sounding too cozy.
At this point, Mr. Liu’s spokesperson, Sharon Lee, said, “On the campaign, you did talk about how you would be an effective counterbalance if necessary.”
“Yeah,” said Mr. Liu, “because that is what the comptroller’s office’s job is, by charter. It’s not about specific individuals. That’s just what the charter responsibilities are.”
It’s never too early to think about 2013.