Bloomberg, Liu, Thompson Staffers Dish on Campaign
December 8th, 2009
For one, John Liu’s campaign staff was never aiming for the endorsements of the city’s three major dailies, they were, at times, trying to separate the campaign from its Working Families Party ties and Liu started aiming for citywide office — any office — years before his competitors.
“He was thinking about running for everything,” said Kevin Wardally, a senior advisor to the Liu campaign. “When you make a decision that you’re not going to run for City Council you start to think about everything… Some folks thought about public advocate… Once we looked at John’s qualifications… we made one decision, and that decision was to run for and announce for city comptroller.”
These factoids were revealed at a post-campaign round table discussion this morning at the New School, where foes and friends gathered to digest the ins and outs of campaign ‘09.
From the losing side of the comptroller race, representatives from the campaigns of Melinda Katz and David Yassky all said that Liu’s personal story was practically unbeatable, despite the scrutiny over whether or not the comptroller-elect actually worked in a sweatshop. The Katz campaign said they tried to galvanize women — to no avail — while Yassky’s people played up his rational (very comptroller-like) side. They didn’t luck out either.
On the mayoral race, Bloomberg’s campaign revealed a glimpse into their strategy — one that played up the mayor’s win as inevitable. By coming out strong in the beginning, going door to door as early as the spring, Bloomberg campaigners said, it gave his competitors (and the electorate) the feeling he couldn’t be beat.
Internally, though, they knew he was vulnerable.
“The biggest thing the Bloomberg campaign did was sell it to the media and the media absolutely swallowed it,” said Eddie Castell, campaign manager for Bill Thompson. “I tried to do the Heimlich maneuver every single day.”By Courtney Gross on December 8, 2009, 5:40 pm
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