There’s something maddening about Bill de Blasio’s wanderlust.
Our young mayor, in office barely 16 months, has spent more time in national political speeches outside the city than he has on the Upper East Side. In recent weeks, he’s traveled to D.C., to Iowa, and to Silicon Valley, where people are paying $10,000 a plate to hear him talk about income equality. According to a tally in The New York Times, de Blasio has spent a third of the months of April and May on the road. His body language is that of the glad-hander at the cocktail party, the guy always looking over your shoulder, an eye out for the next, more interesting person, to talk to.
The thing is, there’s more than enough for him to do at home, if only he’d engage. Tensions with the police are at a boiling part. City schools are creaking from too many kids. Small business owners are begging the mayor for help as their rents soar.
Yet de Blasio often seems bored with the business at hand. Mayor Michael Bloomberg understood that running a city this big meant paying close attention to the guts of government. He dove into budgets and spent hundreds of hours understanding the government jobs that make the city work.
de Blasio apparently has more important things on his agenda. In a way, that’s understandable; the national spotlight is certainly alluring.
The problem is, the mayor has a day job. For the city’s sake, now might be a good time to get back to work.