METROFOCUS: April 12, 2021

Our Frontpage Forecast panelists CUNY Professor and former President of the New York City Board of Elections, J.C. Polanco, New York Daily News editorial board member Laura Nahmias and Rutgers University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Saladin Ambar discuss the George Floyd murder trial as well as the latest headlines from across the nation and the tristate.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

WE START OUR WEEKLY LOOK AHEAD AT THE NEWSMAKING LOCAL AND NATIONAL HEADLINES AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE TRI-STATE WITH TWO OF THE HOTTEST RACES IN NEW YORK POLITICS AT THE MOMENT.

THE FIELD OF CANDIDATES VYING TO REPLACE A WOUNDED GOVERNOR CUOMO CONTINUES TO GROW.

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN LEE ZELDEN RECENTLY JUMPED INTO THE 2020 RACE AND RUDY GIULIANI'S SON ANDREW IS ALSO EYEING A POSSIBLE RUN.

WILL ANYONE BE ABLE TO BEAT TISH JAMES IF SHE ULTIMATELY ENTERS THE RACE?

SEVERAL MAYORAL CANDIDATES SEEM TO HAVE SEPARATED THEMSELVES FROM THE PACK, BUT WHO COULD POSSIBLY WITHIN THEN THE DEMOCR PRIMARY?

PLUS WE'LL CHECK IN ON THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN, THE FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH KILLING GEORGE FLOYD AND HOW THAT TROIAL IS IMPACTING NEW YORK'S MAYORAL RACE.

WE HAVE JC POLANCO.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I LOVE COMING ON.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

ABSOLUTELY.

WE ALSO HAVE LAURA NAHMIAS.

LAURA IS AN EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

OF COURSE, WE ARE JOINED BY SALADIN AMBAR.

WELCOME, PROFESSOR AMBAR.

HEY, JENNA.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

LET'S START WITH THE GOVERNORS RACE, WHAT'S SHAPING UP TO BE THE 2022 GOVERNORS RACE.

WE HAVE SEEN FROM THE REPUBLICAN SIDE ZELDEN AND RUDY'S SON ANDREW GIULIANI.

LAURA, I'LL START WITH YOU AND JUST SAY WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE LIST OF REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES TO SORT OF LOOK LIKE AS WE GET CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE ACTUAL CAMPAIGN YEAR?

WELL, I THINK LEE ZELDEN IS CERTAINLY BETWEEN HIM AND ANDREW GIULIANI IS THE PERSON WHO IS AT THIS POINT A MORE CREDIBLE CANDIDATE IF YOU'RE OPERATING TRULY ON THE BASIS OF SOMEONE WHO HAS ANY EXPERIENCE IN ELECTED GOVERNMENT, WHICH ANDREW GIULIANI DOES NOT.

35 YEARS OLD, NEVER HELD PUBLIC OFFICE BEFORE.

BUT WE'VE SEEN THIS PROBLEM WITH THE STATEWIDE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR YEARS NOW.

THEY'VE BEEN LOSING GROUND.

THEY'VE BEEN LOSING VOTERS.

THEY HAVEN'T WON A STATEWIDE RACE SINCE -- CHECK ME, JC -- SINCE 2002?

THEY DON'T HAVE THE VOTERS THAT THEY ONCE HAD.

IT'S DIFFICULT TO FIND A CANDIDATE WHO CAN CAPTURE SORT OF DISAFFECTED DEMOCRAT VOTERS OR UNAFFILIATED VOTERS IN SUBURBS AND IN UPSTATE, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.

YOU COULDN'T WIN REALLY WITH JUST CAPTURING THE ENTIRE REGISTERED REPUBLICAN BASE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

YOU HAVE TO GET SOME CROSSOVER VOTERS WHO ARE EITHER UNAFFILIATED OR DEMOCRAT AND SORT OF THE FRINGE CANDIDATES OR FRINGE POSITIONS HELD BY SOMEONE LIKE LEE ZELDEN AND WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT ANDREW GIULIANI'S POSITIONS ARE.

I DON'T KNOW THOSE WOULD NECESSARILY CUT IT OR FIT THE MOLD.

JC, YOUR THOUGHTS?

AGAIN, IT'S SO, SO EARLY, BUT WE'VE SEEN THE STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY STUMBLE SEVERAL TIMES WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING A CANDIDATE, ESPECIALLY TO GO UP AGAINST THE CUOMO MACHINE, SHOULD THAT BE THE CASE.

WHAT TO YOU SEE FOR THE POTENTIAL OF THIS FIELD?

TO PIGGYBACK OF WHAT LAURI MEN -- LAURA MENTIONED, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT CONGRESSMAN ZELDEN IS THE MOST CREDIBLE.

HE'S AN ATTORNEY, A VETERAN, A FORMER STATE SENATOR.

THE QUESTION IS WHICH OF THE REPUBLICANS CAN ATTRACT ABOUT 33% OF NEW YORK CITY.

THAT'S THE MAGIC FORMULA.

IN THE SUBURBS OF WESTCHESTER, SOME PARTS HERE AND THERE ACROSS NEW YORK, THE REST OF THE STATE IS SOLID RED.

THAT'S JUST AN INCREDIBLE FACT.

YOU LOOK OUTSIDE OF ROCHESTER PERHAPS WHERE YOU COULD GET THAT BLUE DOT IN THE MIDDLE OF UPSTATE, ALBANY YOU WILL GET SOME DEMOCRATIC AREAS, BUT IF YOU HAD A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE THAT COULD CONNECT WITH ABOUT 33% OF THE NEW YORK CITY ELECTORATE THEY HAVE A FORMIDABLE CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR.

I DON'T THINK WE'VE HEARD THE END OF THE CANDIDATES.

I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HEAR FROM ROB ASTERINO.

IN ORDER TO WIN STATEWIDE YOU'RE GOING TO NEED A MODERATE REPUBLICAN, SOMEONE THAT CAN GET THE CROSSOVER APPEAL.

YOU HAVE SOME CANDIDATES THERE THAT CAN, IN FACT, DO THAT.

DON'T IMMEDIATELY WRITE OFF THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE RUNNING STATEWIDE.

TO YOUR EARLIER POINT, JENNA, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT LEADING THE DEMOCRATIC STATEWIDE TICKET WILL BE ATTORNEY GENERAL JAMES 100%, FULL STOP.

I PUT ALL THE MONEY ON IT NOW.

PROFESSOR AMBAR, I KIND OF WANT TO GET MAYBE A MORE HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE FROM YOU.

THIS ISN'T EXACTLY THE EXACT SAME SITUATION, BUT SEVERAL YEARS AGO WE DID HAVE A THREE-TERM GOVERNOR CUOMO WHO WAS LOOKING FOR A FOURTH TERM AND WAS UNSEATED BY GEORGE PATAKI, A STATE NSENATOR FROM TE HUDSON VALLEY.

IS THE GROUNDWORK SORT OF SIMILAR OR IS THIS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATION AND ANY WILDCARD IS POSSIBLE?

IT'S SIMILAR THAT I THINK THERE'S SOME CUOMO FATIGUE.

YOU KNOW, GOING FOR A FOURTH TERM IS ALWAYS DIFFICULT FOR OBVIOUS AND GOOD REASONS IN TERMS OF DEMOCRACY.

YOU KNOW, YOU GET TO MAKE YOUR VASE FOR VOTERS OVER EIGHT AND 12 YEARS.

ASKING FOR 16 IS QUITE A LOT.

SO THERE HAS TO BE REALLY A SIGNIFICANT REASON FOR THEM TO ELECT YOU FOR A FOURTH TERM.

BUT WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS TIME IS THERE WAS A NATIONAL MOVEMENT THAT BUOYED PATAKI TO UNSEAT MARIO CUOMO.

AND I THINK THAT'S MISSING NOW.

IN FACT, ANDREW CUOMO'S COMPETITORS, AT LEAST THE ONES WHO HAVE INDICATED THEY'RE RUNNING TO DATE, ARE REALLY PART OF A KIND OF TRUMP COALITION.

THEY'RE REALLY NOT DISTANCING THEMSELVES FROM DONALD TRUMP.

I THINK THAT HURTS THEM IN NEW YORK.

TO JC'S POINT, GETTING THAT 33% OUT OF NEW YORK CITY SEEMS HARDER TO DO WITH THAT KIND OF AFFILIATION.

WHAT PATAKI HAD WAS THE KIND OF GLAMOUR OF BEING UNKNOWN, IRONICALLY.

HE DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF NEGATIVES.

HE DIDN'T HAVE HIGH NAME RECOGNITION, BUT HE ALSO WASN'T AFFILIATED WITH THE DARK SIDE OF NEWT GINGRICH THAT WAS TAKING PLACE ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.

TO BORROW MARIO CUOMO'S TERM FOR WALTER MONDALE, HE WAS POLENTA, A RESPECTABLE FOOD STUFF BUT NOT EXACTLY GLAMORGLAMOROUS.

I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE A PROBLEM FOR REPUBLICAN COMPETITORS THIS TIME AROUND.

THERE'S NOT A NATIONAL WAVE AGAINST WHAT JOE BIDEN IS OFFERING OR WHAT DEMOCRATS ARE OFFERING.

THERE IS REAL VULNERABILITY IN ANDREW CUOMO.

YOU KNOW, AS SHAKESPEARE SAID, WHEN PROBLEMS COME THEY COME IN BATTALIONS.

HE'S GOT BATTALIONS OF PROBLEMS.

DO THEY HAVE SOMEONE THAT'S NEUTRAL ENOUGH TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM, OR ARE THEY TOO AFFILIATED WITH DONALD TRUMP TO WIN THOSE IMPORTANT VOTERS OUT OF NEW YORK AND IN THE SUBURBS.

THERE'S ALSO TO REMEMBER.

NEW YORK CURRENTLY HAS ONE-PARTY RULE.

THAT DOESN'T SIT TOO WELL WITH MOST OF NEW YORK, I DON'T THINK.

NOT TO PICK ON CERTAIN SPECIFIC ISSUES THAT I THINK MOST NEW YORKERS OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY AND EVEN WITHIN NEW YORK CITY MAY HAVE WITH THE ONE-PARTY RULE.

IN THIS LAST BUDGET WE SEE SOME THINGS THAT IF A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE THAT'S A MODERATE CAN DISCUSS ABOUT THINGS AS FAR AS TAX HIKES AND HOW WE'VE LOST ALMOST 2 MILLION NEW YORKERS SINCE 2010 AND INCREASING TAXES ON THOSE PAYING ABOUT 80% OF THE TAX TO THE STATE ARE BEING AFFECTED BY THE HIKE.

THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN OUR STATE, I CONSTANTLY ADVOCATE FOR THEM.

I DON'T KNOW HOW NEW YORKERS ARE GOING TO FEEL WHEN THEY'RE HAVING A HARDSHIP FINANCIALLY AND THIS LAST BUDGET HAS GIVEN SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS TO AFFECTED WORKERS.

THERE ARE SO MANY ISSUES OUTSIDE OF OUR ECHO CLHAMBER WHERE MOST OF US LIVE IN NEW YORK MAY BE AN ADVANTAGE TO A MODERATE REPUBLICAN RUNNING STATEWIDE.

MY OTHER QUESTION IS WE'RE START OF TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THIS AS IF IT PERHAPS IS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION THAT CUOMO WON'T BE RUNNING AGAIN.

HE'S SAID SEVERAL TIMES HE'S NOT RESIGNING, BUT DOES ANYONE SEE A REALISTIC MOUNTING OF A FOURTH TERM CAMPAIGN OR PERHAPS COULD THERE HAVE BEEN PERHAPS A DEAL MADE BEHIND THE SCENES DURING ALL OF THIS TUMULT GOING ON AROUND THE GOVERNOR THAT AN AGREEMENT WAS MADE THAT PERHAPS A FOURTH TERM WOULDN'T BE SOUGHT AND PERHAPS IMPEACHMENT WON'T ACTUALLY BE SOUGHT AS A RESULT?

I THINK AS A LONG TIME STUDENT OF ANDREW CUOMO AS GOVERNOR AT THIS POINT, A DECADE IN OFFICE THAT I'VE BEEN COVERING HIM, I CANNOT IMAGINE, ALTHOUGH IT IS POSSIBLE, I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT HE WON'T SEEK A FOURTH TERM.

HIS PSYCHOLOGY, HIS ENTIRE BEING IS SO WRAPPED UP IN THIS OFFICE AND IN EMBODYING THIS OFFICE, IT'S SOMETHING THAT HE HAS BEEN FAMILIAR WITH FOR HIS ENTIRE ADULT LIFE AND HE ALSO HAS THIS ELEMENT OF COMPETITIVENESS WITH HIS OWN FATHER, EVEN THOUGH HIS OWN FATHER IS NO LONGER WITH US.

HE DIES SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

I THINK THAT BEATING HIS FATHER TO THE FOURTH TERM IS SOMETHING THAT REALLY MOTIVATES HIM STILL, AND GIVING THAT UP WITHOUT BEING ABSOLUTELY FORCED TO, I CAN'T IMAGINE HIM DOING IT.

IT WOULD BE LIKE HOW A SHARK HAS TO STAY MOVING TO SURVIVE IN THE WATER.

I JUST CAN'T SEE HIM VOLUNTARILY GIVING UP THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN AND WIN IF HE THINKS THAT HE CAN RUN AND WIN.

THAT BEING SAID, IF HIS POLL NUMBERS ARE TERRIBLE AND IF HE THINKS HE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY HUMILIATED AND THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, THAT'S MAYBE THE ONLY CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH I COULD SEE HIM GIVING SOMETHING UP TO FORESTALL UNDERGOING SOME KIND OF SEVERE HUMILIATION.

EVEN WITH THE BATTALIONS OF SORROW, I CAN'T IMAGINE HIM NOT SEEKING A FOURTH TERM.

PROFESSOR AMBAR, DOES THAT TRACK WITH YOUR UNDERSTANDING?

WHAT LITTLE I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT ANDREW CUOMO GOES RIGHT TO LAURA'S POINT PRECISELY.

I THINK THERE'S A COMPETITIVE DRIVE THERE THAT GOES WAY BACK IN TERMS OF HIS EFFORTS TO OUTDISTANCE HIS FATHER ON THIS SCORE AND ON ANY NUMBER OF FRONTS, ABSOLUTELY.

I WILL SAY THIS, THOUGH.

AND THIS GETS TO THE ISSUE OF CHARACTER.

I THINK FRANKLY A POINT OF DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN THE FATHER AND SON, MARIO CUOMO WAS KNOWN NOT AS A PERFECT POLITICIAN OR HUMAN, BUT CERTAINLY SOMEONE WHO EXERCISED GREAT RESTRAINT IN HIS LIFE, SOMEONE WHO SAW VICTORY AS NOT SIMPLY ABOUT WINS AND LOSSES ELECTORALLY.

I THINK HE HAD A DIFFERENT KIND OF PURPOSE ATTACHED TO HIS POLITICAL LIFE THAN I THINK HIS SON DOES AND I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT TO BRING TO THIS.

I THINK HE WASN'T SOLELY DRIVEN BY VICTORY ALONE.

AND I THINK THAT'S TO HIS CREDIT.

I DO THINK ANDREW CUOMO SEES VICTORY AS PART AND PARCEL OF HIS BEING.

YOU KNOW, WINNING FOR HIM SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT WHO HE IS AND I DON'T THINK MARIO CUOMO HAD THAT KIND OF NEEDINESS TO BE FRANK ABOUT HIM.

HE SAID WHEN HE LOST, HE MADE THE POINT THAT MY WHOLE FAITH IS BUILT UPON A GUY WHO WAS DEFEATED.

YOU KNOW, MARIO CUOMO HAD A SENSE OF VICTORY THAT WAS ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC SERVICE RATHER THAN SIMPLE VICTORY AT THE POLLS.

AND I THINK THAT'S A RARE THING IN POLITICS AND I DON'T THINK WE QUITE SEE THAT IN ANDREW, TO NOT PUT TOO FINE A POINT ON IT.

I WILL SAY I THINK THAT'S THE FIRST TIME I'VE HEARD NEEDINESS ASSOCIATED WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO, BUT OF COURSE WE WILL SEE HOW THAT PLAYS OUT.

JC, I WANT TO TURN TO YOU WITH OUR NEXT TOPIC.

THAT OF COURSE IS THE MAYORAL RACE.

IN THE BEGINNING I DID REFERENCE THAT NEW YORKERS WILL BE MAKING THEIR CHOICE FOR WHO THEY WANTED AS MAYOR.

THAT'S ME REFERENCING THE JUNE 22nd PRIMARY.

FROM YOUR STANDPOINT, THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD STARTED OUT VERY, VERY LARGE AND SOME PEOPLE HAVE STARTED TO FALL OFF.

WHO DO YOU SEE AS A REALISTIC FRONT-RUNNER FOR THE CITY?

WELL, IT DEPENDS.

IT REALLY SADDENS ME WHAT I'M LOOKING AT IN THE POLLS.

I DON'T THINK DEMOCRATIC VOTERS NOW HOW POWERFUL THEY REALLY ARE IN NEW YORK CITY.

83% OF THEM IN THE PREVIOUS PRIMARY ACTUALLY STAYED HOME.

THINK ABOUT THAT.

83% OF DEMOCRATS STAYED HOME IN AN ELECTION WHERE THEIR PARTY WILL MOST LIKELY WIN A GENERAL.

IF WE LOOK AT NEW YORK CITY POLITICS, DEMOCRATS WIN ANYWHERE FROM 95-97% OF ALL RACES IN NEW YORK CITY.

IT BEHOOVES DEMOCRATS TO REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE AND ASK THE QUESTION, WHO IS QUALIFIED TO RUN FOR MAYOR AND WHO IS QUALIFIED TO RUN OUR CITY GOVERNMENT.

WHAT WE'RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS I LIKE BECAUSE HE'S FUN, THE CAMPAIGN IS FUN, HIS COMPANY IS FUN, THE RACIAL BACKGROUND, ETHNIC BACKGROUND I LIKE.

YOU'RE NOT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

WHO CAN RUN A BUDGET OF ALMOST 1$100 BILLION?

WHO CAN RUN OUR EVERYDAY AFFAIRS SHOULD BE A QUESTION THAT I THINK NEW YORK DEMOCRATS REALLY NEED TO START ASKING THEMSELVES AND GET OUT AND VOTE.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE WHY 83% OF DEMOCRATS IN NEW YORK CITY STAY HOME WHEN THERE'S SO MANY WAYS THEY CAN VOTE TODAY.

AS FAR AS A FRONT-RUNNER, THIS SHOULD BE A SCOTT STRINGER, RAY McGUIRE, ERIC ADAMS RACE.

THEY HAVE PROVEN THEY CAN MANAGE PEOPLE AND BUDGETS.

WE HAVE SEEN THEM IN ACTION.

THESE ARE CREDIBLE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR.

LAURA, I MEAN JC BRINGS UP SOME EXCELLENT POINTS.

I DO WONDER IF MAYBE THIS PREVIOUS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CYCLE WHERE THERE WAS SUCH AN EFFORT TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE GOT OUT AND VOTE AND GOT A CHANCE TO VOTE AND KNEW WHERE TO VOTE AND HOW TO VOTE, THAT THIS MIGHT BE CHANGING THE ELECTORATE'S INVOLVEMENT THIS TIME AROUND.

I HAVE TO HOPE SO.

THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THE LAST MAYORAL ELECTION.

IT'S A LITTLE EASIER TO VOTE IN NEW YORK AND IT'S TRADITIONALLY QUITE DIFFICULT.

IT'S HARD TO CHANGE PARTIES, IT'S HARD TO REGISTER.

THERE ARE A BUNCH OF PRACTICES PUT IN PLACE BY INCUMBENT PARTIES TO PROTECT THEIR INCUMBENT STATUS AND KEEP THEMSELVES FROM BEING VOTED OUT OF OFFICE.

SOME OF THAT HAS CHANGED AND THAT SHOULD HELP, HOPEFULLY.

WE'VE SEEN THESE ELECTIONS TRADITIONALLY BE DECIDED BY HIGHLY-MOTIVATED VOTERS WHO TEND TO BE MEMBERS OF UNIONS AND NOT JUST THE REGULAR ELECTORATE.

I HAVE TO BELIEVE, I'M HOPING THAT THE STAKES IN THIS ELECTION FOR NEW YORK CITY ARE SO HIGH.

THEY'RE ALWAYS HIGH, BUT THAT PEOPLE HAVE A REAL SENSE OF HOW HIGH THE STAKES ARE.

THEY SAW WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE THAT LED TO THE ELECTION OF de BLASIO AND THERE'S SORT OF A WIDESPREAD DISCONTENTMENT WITH HIM.

I JUST HOPE THAT MORE OF THEM COME OUT TO VOTE.

FE IF WE HAVE MORE THAN 20% TURNOUT DURING THE PRIMARY, MAYBE IT'S NOT A FOREGONE CONCLUSION WHO'S GOING TO GET ELECTED.

WHAT BROUGHT BILL de BLASIO INTO THE ELECTION WAS EXHAUSTION FROM BLOOMBERG.

I'M WONDERING IF YOU COULD GET INTO THE VOTERS' MINDS A LITTLE BIT IF PERHAPS THAT'S WHAT'S DRAWING PEOPLE TO SAY A CANDIDATE LIKE YANG BECAUSE HE SEEMS LIKE THE OPPOSITE OF MAYOR de BLASIO.

PERHAPS.

YANG HAS LOTS OF STRONG FOLLOWERS AND THEY REALLY LOVE HIM AND THERE'S A GREAT ATTACHMENT THERE.

BUT HE ALSO HAS HIS SHARE OF NEGATIVES.

HE'S NOT EXACTLY PROVEN HIMSELF TO BE THE MOST NEW YORK OF NEW YORKERS IN RECENT WEEKS.

THIS PRIMARY SEASON REMINDS ME OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1860, NOT THAT I'M OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE REMEMBERED IT, BUT I'VE STUDIED IT.

YOU KNOW, YOU'LL RECALL THAT LINCOLN WON BECAUSE HE WAS THE LEAST DISLIKED.

IT WAS A CROWDED FIELD AND THERE WERE ABOLITIONIST FORCES AND OTHERS WHO WERE MORE PRO SLAVERY.

LINCOLN WAS KIND OF IN THE MIDDLE.

THIS STRIKES ME AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOMEONE LIKE MAYA WILEY WHO HAS VERY FEW STARK NEGATIVES AGAINST HER.

NOT A PERFECT CANDIDATE, BUT MAYBE AMONG THE LEAST DISLIKED.

YOU CAN IMAGINE HER IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, YOU KNOW, DOING THE TASKS THAT NEED TO BE DONE, BUT SHE ALSO FITS THE BILL OF BEING A BLACK WOMAN IN A CITY THAT OBVIOUSLY IS DEMOGRAPHICALLY EXTRAORDINARILY DIVERSE, MAYBE NOT AS PROGRESSIVE AS SOME WOULD LIKE HER TO BE, BUT NOT EXACTLY IN THE CAMP OF WALL STREET IN THE SAME WAY THAT OTHERS ARE.

SO PROGRESSIVES HAVE SOME ROOM TO REACH OUT TO HER AND FEEL SOMEWHAT COMFORTABLE.

I JUST THINK SHE AND PERHAPS OTHER CANDIDATES FIT IN THAT CATEGORY OF MAYBE NOT HAVING THE INTENSE LOYALTY AND FOLLOWING, BUT MAYBE LEAST DISLIKED.

IN A CROWDED FIELD THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I DO THINK HER BEING AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN IN THIS YEAR, IN THIS MOMENT, WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE COUNTRY IS AN ADVANTAGE TO HER POTENTIALLY GOING FULL SWING INTO THE CAMPAIGN HERE.

IF I MIGHT JUST ADD SOMETHING, AFTER COVERING MAYOR de BLASIO FOR MANY YEARS AT THIS POINT, ONE THING I AM FRUSTRATED WITH WITH THE COVERAGE OF THE MAYORAL ELECTION IS THE FACT THAT de BLASIO CAME INTO OFFICE WITH BIG IDEAS.

HE HAD NO SHORTAGE OF THEM.

HIS INABILITY TO IMPLEMENT THEM, EITHER THROUGH A LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL -- HIS FOCUS WAS OFTEN IN WASHINGTON OR IOWA OR ELSEWHERE -- OR HIS INABILITY TO BUILD COALITIONS WITH LABOR PARTNERS OR PEOPLE IN ALBANY OR WASHINGTON, D.C.

THAT IS WHAT REALLY FRUSTRATED HIS AGENDA.

SO ALL THE BIG IDEAS IN THE WORLD MAY LOOK AND SOUND GREAT ON PAPER AND MAY MAKE A WONDERFUL SOUND BITE ON TWITTER, BUT VOTERS NEED TO LOOK TO SOMEONE WITH THE ABILITY AND THE KNOW-HOW AND THE WISDOM TO NEGOTIATE THE VERY FINE DETAILS OF EACH OF THEIR IDEAS, OR ELSE THOSE IDEAS ARE AS GOOD AS NOT THERE.

IF I MAY, THAT'S THE POINT.

YOU NEED SOMEONE THAT HAS A EXPERIENCE AND CAN PROVE TO NEW YORKERS THEY CAN HANDLE THAT.

de BLASIO WENT IN WITHOUT HAVING THAT EXPERIENCE OF MANAGING BUDGETS AND STAFF AT THAT LEVEL.

WE GO FROM A DOZEN PEOPLE TO ABOUT 36,000.

VOTERS HAVE TO ASK WHICH ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES CAN DO THE JOB, WHO HAS THE RESUME.

ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, VIEWERS SHOULD KNOW THERE ARE TWO INDIVIDUALS RUNNING FERNANDO MATEO AND CURTIS SILWA.

IT'S BECOMING REALLY VOLATILE.

IT'S GOING TO BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHO COMES OUT OF THAT CAMPAIGN AND WHO'S GOING TO BE ABLE TO BRING SOME CROSSOVER APPEAL SO THEY CAN WIN A GENERAL ELECTION.

IT'S AN UPHILL CLIMB.

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT, BUT WE'RE MANY MONTHS AWAY FROM NOVEMBER.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

SO JC, I DID WANT TO TURN TO YOU, BECAUSE YOU MADE A POINT EARLIER TALKING ABOUT THE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION THAT MIGHT APPLY TO NEW YORK.

THAT IS THE CHANGES IN DEMOGRAPHICS.

THERE'S NO DENYING THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS ALLOWED OR CAUSED SOME PEOPLE TO MOVE AROUND THE STATE, PERHAPS LEAVE THE STATE ALL TOGETHER.

AND AT LEAST FOR THE MAYORAL ELECTION, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE VOTING DEMOGRAPHICS ARE THE SAME AS THEY WERE FOR THE LAST MAYORAL ELECTION AND HOW MUCH SHOULD THAT WEIGH INTO THE WAY THEY ARE CAMPAIGNING?

THE PEOPLE DECIDING THIS IS A VERY SMALL SLIVER OF ACTIVISTS AND UNION MEMBERS.

I DON'T THINK THAT'S CHANGED.

I THINK THE PEOPLE THAT ARE DEDICATED TO THEIR UNIONS AND LOCAL DEMOCRATIC CLUBS, THEY HAVEN'T LEFT AND THEY'RE GOING TO COME OUT AND VOTE.

UNFORTUNATELY, FOR THE REST OF NEW YORK, HOWEVER, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE RECOGNIZE WE CANNOT ALLOW FOR ELECTIONS TO BE DECIDED BY THE FRINGES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

WHEN WE GET OUT OF NEW YORK CITY, WE'RE STARTING TO SEE THAT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE.

THE MOST FRINGE ELEMENTINGS OF REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE DECIDING A LOT OF THE ELECTIONS.

WE SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT NATIONALLY AND IN NEW YORK CITY AS WELL.

WHEN WE ALLOW A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE TO MAKE THE DECISION AS TO WHO'S GOING TO ULTIMATELY WIN AN ELECTION, WE'RE GOING TO GET SOME FRINGE POLICIES COMING OUT OF THAT GROUP.

WE SAW IT IN THE LAST BUDGET.

IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS NEW YORK DECIDED TO LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL USE OF MARIJUANA WITHOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVING THE ABILITY TO CHECK IF DRIVERS ARE UNDER THE IMPAIRMENT OF MARIJUANA.

WE PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE.

THAT'S JUST ONE EXAMPLE OUT OF MANY.

I WONDER WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS BECAUSE OF THE FRINGE DECIDING ELECTIONS.

ARE WE GOING TO HAVE DECRIMINAL AS DECRIMINALATION OF SEX WORK IN NEW YORK.

WHAT ARE THE STORY LINES YOU'RE GOING TO BE WATCHING THIS WEEK?

I'LL BE LOOKING AT THE DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL AND SEE HOW IT INFLUENCES NOT ONLY THE CANDIDATES' VIEWS AND POLICIES AND PROJECTED POLICIES ABOUT POLICING IN NEW YORK BUT ALSO AROUND THE COUNTRY.

OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE NEW CASES ARISING.

AN INCIDENT LAST NIGHT WITH SOME HORRIFIC CONSEQUENCES IN THE MIDWEST.

SO I'LL BE CONTINUING TO WATCH THAT TRIAL AS PAINFUL AS IT IS, CERTAINLY PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OUTCOME AND WHAT'S BROUGHT UP THROUGHOUT MOVING AHEAD.

WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING?

I'M LOOKING AT THE CHAUVIN TRIAL AND THE CONSEQUENCES.

I THINK IT'S BRINGING A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT NEVER WOULD HAVE ADMITTED THAT WE HAVE SEEN INJUSTS IICES IN THE PAST.

I THINK THIS TRIAL IS WAKING UP A LOT OF PEOPLE.

LAURA, LAST WORD WITH 20 SECONDS?

READING MAYORAL CANDIDATES' VERY LENGTHY POLICY BOOKS IN DETAIL AND FINDING PLACES WHERE THEIR PLANS MAKE NO SENSE OR ARE NOT PLAUSIBLE AND PLANNING TO FOLLOW UP WITH THEM ABOUT THAT.

WELL, WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE WORK OF YOUR FOLLOWING UP SO WE CAN ALL BETTER UNDERSTAND WHERE THESE CANDIDATES STAND, AS JC SO ELOQUENTLY PUT IT.

I WANT TO THANK ALL OF MY GUESTS, LAURA NAHMIAS, JC POLANCO AND SALADIN AMBAR FOR JOINING US.

♪ ♪

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

The WNET Group | Media Made Possible By All of You

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019

BBB Logo Charity Navigator Logo