Eric Adams threw out the lefty recipe for class warfare and went in big on wooing the fat-cat sector.
And it worked.
It’s a remarkable contrast from what we’re used to hearing from New York Democrats and the party as a whole.
While Uncle Joe was repeating in that strange, hushed voice “pay your fair share” for his multitrillion-dollar spending spree, our newly elected mayor was meeting and dining with an array of Wall Streeters and business types in Manhattan, telling them he doesn’t want to tax them out of town.
Of course, Wall Street doesn’t vote in the numbers that can compare to turnout in the five boroughs. But it does bring money to the table, lots of it, for candidates who will fix the broken system inherited from hapless Comrade Bill de Blasio.
Adams had no problem raising money from Wall Street, real estate and elsewhere because he spent much of his campaign telling business leaders how important they are to the city. Adams is a rare lefty who understands that the financial sector pays most of the taxes in the city.
Even more, he gets that class warfare has its limits. Recall that after losing everything in 2008, GOP candidates won Congress in 2010 even with the financial crisis still fresh in voters’ minds.
Our increasingly feeble president and the progressive nutjobs he turned the country over to can’t quite grasp that most people don’t work for the government; they work for a corporation or a small business.
Working people know that when you beat up their employers with taxes, regulations and left-wing rhetoric, you’re also beating up on them. What hits their employers’ bottom line comes out of their salary.
That was another lesson from Tuesday that it seems nearly every major Democratic pol — except maybe Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — still don’t get as they continue to push for needless and grandiose welfare spending on the backs of the wealthy. Bankers, tech tycoons, hedge fund managers, small-business owners, real estate companies and the rest employ a lot of people.
This will sound harsh, but we need them more than they need us. Adams’ mantra when campaigning in front of the business community was simple and effective: “Please stay in New York; I need more of you guys than I need AOC-types” was among the gems I heard he came up with.
Adams, an ex-cop, also vowed to the business community he will allow police to do their job — another major concern of business leaders. CEOs “limo it” to the office but their employees must dodge the throngs of the violent and mentally ill homeless who fill Manhattan streets these days.
Of course, this all could be Adams blowing smoke. Even if he’s not, the crazies on the City Council and in Albany are not just going to fold because new Gov. Glenn Youngkin won in Virginia and Cuomo-lite Gov. Phil Murphy nearly blew it in New Jersey.
Meanwhile, restoring some semblance of order is harder than it looks; just ask Rudy Giuliani how long it took him to reverse the decay of the early 1990s. Cutting business taxes in New York is always a heavy lift even when the lefties aren’t so much in charge.
Still, what Adams is saying resonated as a welcome change of pace from the usual, unproductive class-warfare gibberish businesspeople hear from the Democratic Party that once understood who pays the bills.
And they told Adams they are willing to give him a chance before completely bolting for Florida and leaving both him and the city to fend for themselves.
Now it’s up to Adams to deliver.
Larry Fink could well rank as the most woke CEO in America. But he didn’t build BlackRock from scratch into the $9 trillion asset-management machine by being stupid.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that people close to him say his firm could soon start taking steps to smooth over his corporate progressivism in Washington, DC, which is growing increasingly wary of his mix of politics and business.
Sources tell me Fink’s in-house lobbying team is poised to begin pressing the flesh on Capitol Hill with a charm offensive to win over pols who might not be so keen on the firm’s embrace of corporate wokeism. The moves come after a torrent of bad publicity that has focused on the political side of BlackRock’s business. This includes my reporting about BlackRock prodding corporations in which it invests to adopt woke board policies involving, among other fads, hyper-environmentalism.
As Eleanor Terrett of Fox Business has reported, despite Fink’s virtue-signaling on issues like the environment and diversity, BlackRock holds stakes in two Chinese companies that can help the repressive government engage in surveillance against dissidents and ethnic minorities in its crackdown on free speech and religion.
“You guys have gotten into their heads over there,” a DC political adviser said of BlackRock’s thinking.
People at BlackRock downplay the moves. They say the firm has hired a new head of lobbying, euphemistically described as “external affairs,” who has been meeting with lawmakers in DC on both sides of the aisle.
But Fink’s lobbyists are said to be freaking out about all the attention his wokeism is attracting. After all, he also sells high-price so-called ESG (Environmental Social Governance) funds profiting off the clean-energy stuff he’s pushing — so there is a lot of money on the line if the Biden administration keeps pushing this agenda. Plus, Fink saw Tuesday’s election results, which is why his people are talking about making nice with the GOP-types. They should remind him that talk is cheap.