WHO HAD A GOOD WEEK?
1. Bill de Blasio: In the aftermath of terror attacks in Paris, Mr. de Blasio has offered frequent updates on the situation in New York—presenting him an opportunity to look, well, mayoral. On Wednesday, he had what was his best press conference in months, announcing plans to build 15,000 units of supportive housing for the homeless while advocates interrupted to cheer more than 60 times, according to the official transcript. After punting at first he seized on the issue of Syrian refugees, pulling out a photo of a dead child and chastising New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for saying even young orphans shouldn’t be let into the United States—and then went on CNN to do it again. He closed out the week by making nice with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in hopes of removing one enemy from his long list and maybe appealing to some of the voters who liked Mr. Bloomberg. There were bad moments, for sure—being undermined by his police commissioner on homelessness strategy chief among them—but overall, Mr. de Blasio had a good week.
2. Gov. Andrew Cuomo: He may have been the subject of derision at the press conference on homelessness Wednesday, but by Thursday it’s doubtful Mr. Cuomo minded—especially when he stood on a stage with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to give her an award named after his late father. It was a push into the national spotlight that did not go unnoticed, coming after the governor has raised his progressive profile by calling for minimum wage hikes and enacted executive orders protecting transgender New Yorkers. And he even managed to find time to stick it to Mr. de Blasio, with the state saying it would cut funding to affordable housing.
3. Bill Bratton: Mr. Bratton has projected an aura of calm and command in response to horrific terror attacks in Paris and a video released by the Islamic State that includes old footage of New York City. But more than that, this was another week that showed Mr. Bratton can basically say whatever he wants. On Tuesday, he slammed the City Council as “destructive” because of its repeated attempts to oversee his police department. (The mayor said he disagreed.) On Thursday, he went off-script again, saying homelessness had “exploded” in the last two years—you know, those years when Mr. de Blasio was mayor, and said that Mr. de Blasio had made a “mistake” in not “validating” people’s feelings about the growing homeless population sooner. As this paper argued when Mr. Bratton topped our annual city power list, the commissioner has an amount of leeway to criticize and undermine Mr. de Blasio’s narrative that isn’t afforded to others—in large part because he’s so indispensable to the mayor.
WHO HAD A BAD WEEK?
1. Ben Carson: Not only was Ben Carson basically called dumb, he was called dumb in the New York Times—by his own foreign policy advisor, who said the Republican presidential candidate and nuerosurgeon needed weekly briefings on foreign policy to “make him smart.” Dr. Carson’s camp tried to accuse the New York Times, which broke the story, of taking advantage of the advisor, a frail old man—but then the Times revealed it was the Carson campaign that suggested their reporter speak to the advisor in the first place, and even provided his phone number.
2. Dean Skelos: Being on trial for corruption charges is bad enough, but it’s a lot worse when the evidence includes phone calls that captured you and your adult son bashing the governor. That was the week Mr. Skelos, the former Senate Majority Leader, had. In open court, jurors and reporters heard Mr. Skelos swear he was going to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo, no more Mr. Nice Guy, for real this time. They heard his son Adam Skelos deride the governor as a “pussy.” Whether or not Mr. Skelos is convicted, it’s pretty probably that’s he’s already been embarrassed.
3. Glenwood Management: Another week, another Glenwood big-wig testifying in another Albany corruption trial. First it was chief lobbyist Richard Runes testifying in the case against Sheldon Silver, then it was chief counsel Charles Dorego testifying in the case against Mr. Skelos.The real estate company’s strategy of using multiple LLCs to skirt campaign finance laws (legally) and its strong desire to make Republicans in the State Senate have been on display in court. Glenwood is clearly wary of the attention—donations to politicians from the firm have dropped off a cliff in the wake of the indictments.
WHAT WAS THE WEEK’S BIGGEST STORYLINE?
Terror. No matter what else happens in New York City, if the fear of terrorism is in the air, it seems to dominate the news–and the minds of elected officials. That extended to the discussion of what to do with Syrian refugees who are fleeing terror in their own homeland, with many Republican governors and presidential candidates saying refugees wouldn’t be welcome in their home states. Mr. de Blasio used it as an opportunity to argue for the country’s immigrant-embracing values and to pick a fight with Mr. Christie. The debate also led to some of the week’s biggest national political stories, including Jeb Bush’s call for only letting in Christian refugees and Donald Trump’s unwillingness to rule out a national database of Muslims.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The debate over refugees will continue to move much faster than actual refugees do—just four have settled in New York City this year.
WHO WAS LAST TO THE TABLE?
On November 13, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced legal action against FanDuel and DraftKings, two only daily fantasy sports betting sites. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced his support for the move—five days later, on November 17.
WHAT ARE WE HOPING HAPPENS NEXT WEEK?
Mr. Schneiderman files legal paperwork seeking to stop FanDuel and DraftKings from running nonstop annoying commercials during football games. We can dream, right?
WHAT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN NEXT WEEK?
Mr. de Blasio will hand out some turkeys at a soup kitchen and the jury in the Sheldon Silver case will start hoping they can reach a verdict before Turkey Day.