She reached former Mayor Edward I. Koch at home, and pressed for his advice on how to navigate the rough-and-tumble world of New York politics. (“Never walk away from a reporter,” he admonished her.)You have to know that the situation is grave for the Prince to call upon a university professor for anything, and it is worth noting that in this case it is not for any expertise on an education issue but to put forward a lie for the benefit of his unqualified nominee. Let's see which academic whores step forward to accept this bribe.
She exchanged little more than polite pleasantries with the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, during what he called a “record-setting conversation — it was timed at less than a minute.”
When she could not reach City Councilman Robert Jackson, she left a message, but no number for him to call back. “That showed that she didn’t really want to talk to me,” Mr. Jackson said.
Over the last few days, Cathleen P. Black, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s head-turning choice for schools chancellor, has been furiously dialing members of New York’s political class to simultaneously introduce herself and beat back mounting skepticism of her qualifications.
Those on the receiving end of the calls have variously described the conversations as charmingly informal and maddeningly vague.
Almost all of them said it was impossible, even after speaking with Ms. Black, to glean her educational philosophy or determine exactly how she intended to run the school system. When Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, asked why she wanted a job so far afield from her media career, Ms. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, replied “that she wanted to make a difference,” he recalled.
Ms. Black’s outreach is part of a growing public-relations offensive from City Hall, which is determined to regain control of the intensifying debate over her surprise selection last week. Those close to Mr. Bloomberg asked three of his predecessors — Rudolph W. Giuliani, David N. Dinkins and Mr. Koch — to sign a letter backing her.
Mayoral aides are also encouraging high-powered academic leaders from universities around the country to express their support for her. And they are pushing reliable allies in the business world to publicly embrace her nomination. . .
Meanwhile, Bloomberg and his Rolodex spinning appointee are leaving no fancy watering hole undialed, and tycoons citywide are interrupting their three hour lunches to phone in a good word for their fellow CEO:
Many of the corporate moguls and elected officials lining up behind Ms. Black cited their instinctive faith in Mr. Bloomberg’s judgment, and forcefully defended his right to pick whomever he pleases. “Why in the world would he pick somebody who he does not think can do the job?” asked Peter F. Vallone Sr., the former speaker of the City Council, who has written a letter endorsing Ms. Black.Indeed. And why did the Dick Cheney pick W to be president? Or McCain pick Sarah Palin for VP? Even if Bloomberg thinks she can do the job without his string pulling, what kind of confidence should that engender? After all, he thinks he should be sole proprietor of a public school system with more than a million kids, two-thirds of whom are poor or live in poverty. In the end, the most convincing delusion offers no protection from the eventual truth.