All Politics is Local – QNS.com

All Politics is Local

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously said that all politics is local. O’Neill understood that he owed his seat to the several hundred thousand residents of his Boston congressional district.

The “all politics is local” mantra was demonstrated recently when Mayor Bloomberg met with community leaders and residents in Bay Terrace and Bayside. The Mayor’s campaign understands that television commercials and mailers are effective only to a point. What is needed beyond the traditional media component is personal outreach and responsiveness to issues on a local level.

This is especially important since critics of the Mayor like to say he is out of touch with “average” New Yorkers and focuses attention on Manhattan to the exclusion of issues that matter to the outer boroughs. 

Northeast Queens backed the Mayor strongly in his first two elections, giving him more than 70 percent of the vote in many parts, and is expected to support the Mayor again with similarly high numbers. However, the Mayor’s campaign does not want to take anything for granted in an election year taking place during a recession, when voter dissatisfaction is high and anti-incumbent sentiment is building. 

The Mayor’s appearance gave residents and civic leaders a chance to discuss issues directly with the Mayor in an intimate setting.  They discussed local concerns such as ticket blitzing on Bell Boulevard and potholes on Commonwealth Boulevard.  Such is the nature of being Mayor of New York City.  One day he may be discussing climate change with President Obama and Bono, and the next day it’s parking on Northern Boulevard. 

When Mayor Bloomberg first ran in 2001, his slogan was “A Leader, Not a Politician.”  However, he’s learned to play the part of politician very well.  On the campaign trail, the Mayor enthusiastically greets voters and poses for pictures, standard “pressing the flesh.”  And most importantly, the Mayor understands Tip O’Neill’s famous saying.  His campaign has balanced putting forth big ideas, such as reforming mass transit and making New York City more environmentally sustainable, with continued attention to local issues and concerns.

It says something about the strength of our political process when the Mayor of our great city, the man with what is called the second hardest job in the world, stops into one of our neighborhood’s restaurants to personally ask for his constituents’ votes. 

After all, all politics is local.       

 Daniel Egers is on the staff of Mike Bloomberg’s campaign, Executive Director of the Queens County Republican Party, a Trustee of the Bayside Historical Society and President of the Friends of Oakland Lake, among other affiliations.

More from Around New York