Morning Read: ‘Swinging and Whiffing’

Joe Lhota gestures towards an empty podium last night. (Photo: Getty)

Joe Lhota last night. (Photo: Getty)

Lede of the Day: “If a mayoral debate happens in a landslide, does it make a difference?”

It turns out Joe Lhota doesn’t have a gun after all. After he was challenged on the topic during last night’s debate, the Staten Island Advance updated their story on a Tea Party meeting last April to clarify that Mr. Lhota “told the forum that he goes to shooting ranges, but he does not own any kind of firearm.”

Mr. Lhota’s zinger in response to Bill de Blasio‘s frequent “Tea Party” charges–“You talk about tea so much you remind me of the Mad Hatter”–may be on shaky ground itself. As New York magazine noted in its debate roundup: “Number of Times the mad Hatter Said the Word ‘Tea’ in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Three.”

New York Times columnist Michael Powell had a guarded review of Mr. de Blasio’s performance: “Mr. de Blasio finished the night with his by-now-standard appeal to make the city more progressive and more equal. The take-away should not be that he is a fake. He is not. But as his day approaches, his footsteps toward power are worth measuring.”

While Daily News columnist Harry Siegel found Mr. Lhota’s message lacking: “‘I don’t believe there is a central issue, per se, in this campaign.’ That was Joe Lhota swinging and whiffing at a teed-up question Monday when he met with the Daily News Editorial Board: ‘What is the message of your campaign, or the central issue you think you’re addressing?'”

Newsday profiled Mr. Lhota and Mr. de Blasio’s respective ad strategies: “The candidates’ most recent ads demonstrate the stark difference between the two campaigns — de Blasio’s often feature him or members of his family speaking to voters. Republican Lhota is rarely seen and never heard in his spots.”

City & State looked at the status of Speaker Sheldon Silver‘s leadership in the State Assembly and who might replace him. “It is similar to picking a new pope, with fewer red Prada shoes,” said one member. “The cast of characters will change. Who are those 100 people when it gets to take place? If it’s after an election, you could have 20 new members out of 100.”

And The New York Observer, which strongly backed Mr. Lhota in the primary, endorsed Mr. de Blasio in the general election.

Morning Read: ‘Swinging and Whiffing’