A Bible and a Stonewall

The Bill DeBlasio mayoral administration in New York began ominously yesterday with two events that may bode ill for the future of the city. To begin with, what was touted as the "most open and accessible swearing-in events in New York City history" began with a ring of silence thrown around the events which inhibited reporters from interviewing those who attended. When one asked who was inside was told by a security guard "Keep wondering." As a former political operative, DeBlasio likes to keep his image under tight control. Let us all remember what happened with the last high profile elected official who promised the "most transparent administration in history". Apparently the new mayor did not feel confident enough in his image standing for itself even on his first day in office.

DeBlasio, with further irony, was sworn into office by former President Bill Clinton; the only U.S. president to be impeached specifically for lying under oath. The Bible used was the so called FDR Bible signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt upon his first inaugural. It had been loaned by the FDR Library for the event and promptly vanished after the swearing-in. It reportedly was found the next day by a police officer.

These small events, while amusing, act as a preview of what may be to come. The mayor has already announced that he will ban horse-drawn carriages in the city out of concern for the horses. The fact that this act will throw a number of people out of a job, eliminate a longtime tourist attraction, and may well result in several of the horses having to be put down, is not particularly relevant to Mr. DeBlasio. The administration was spending more time at the inauguration keeping an eye on reporters than they were a priceless historical New York artifact that had been entrusted to them. New Yorkers now have their first taste of the earmarks of the new mayor's office: image consciousness and incompetence. Again, this all sounds familiar.

Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorakeith.com