We've reached the end of our political symphony. Like most symphonies, it was in four parts. An opening that set the themes, a second act that could put caffeine to sleep, a fast paced third act and now, the rondo.
So, where are we?
It will surprise no one that the 911 tape released on October 20, 2015 has held down the Gordon campaign. Until that date, Gordon had run the best, possible campaign that Gordon could run. He kept his head down, nose clean and washed behind his ears before bed down while the two Democrats punched it out. It was a good strategy for a mediocre candidate. We don't mean that to be harsh but Gordon was not a skilled campaigner. He was not a good speaker and came with no readily identifiable issue. He did not distinguish himself in the debates (to be fair, no one did). Instead, Gordon went about his business, letting Wiltshire accuse and Madden deny of all sorts of allegedly nasty campaign tactics.
While Gordon was strolling along the election highway he missed the RR Xing sign and was blindsided by the 911 from State Street. His campaign has been in the fetal position ever since then. Will he be able to limp across the finish line?
This strong third-party endeavor started with a bang. High energy and lots of enthusiasm. It's always hard to judge the strength of these campaigns because the enthusiasm of the supporters can camouflage their numbers. The primary was a tight squeeze and Wiltshire almost pulled off something unheard of outside of Beth Walsh's primary victory for Family Court a few years ago. It was an impressive showing. He's a talented politician. Unfortunately, it was followed up by a campaign that had no raison d'etre.
Wiltshire ran an anti-establishment campaign. We love that. What person with a heart doesn't love a good insurgency? The Troy Polloi was born way-back-when to help keep an eye on the Tutunjian administration when the Democrats were at low tide. Outside of a councilman or two, the Democrats held nothing. So, we've been there. There were many times where we thought about remaining neutral or even throwing our support to Wiltshire. Something held us back. Just when we wanted to give Wiltshire the benefit of the doubt he would cast doubt on the whole enterprise.
On the heels of the Brown, McDonough & Co. arrests for voter fraud, Wiltshire sought and received Democratic backing. He did so again in the next election cycle. He wasn't raging against the machine at that time. It's only after he fails to get what he wants that Wiltshire talks about reform or party bosses. We have the feeling that he doesn't want no boss, he just wants a new boss.
The chant that he is the only candidate not "bought and paid for," often repeated by Wiltshire's second, Ken Zalewski, is nonsensical bumper-sticker politics. Who bought and paid for Gordon? Did they keep the receipt? Who bought and paid for Madden? We know who didn't. Labor Unions and the NYC WFP party didn't. A look at financial disclosures show who they purchased.
Wiltshire is a good campaigner and a good debater. He had promise as a politician. We think he's sincere in his progressive beliefs. It just seems like that at each opportunity to put something else ahead of his ambitions, he can't do it. If Madden, at times, appeared not to want the job, Wiltshire wants it too much.
We think he'll do well. We think he may come in second.
That's where we think the race stands. One campaign derailed, one on the slow and steady upswing and one stalled out after a strong start. Maybe we are wrong.
Place your bets. It's over now. Except for the voting.