A lot of people are reading Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush's Politico piece "De Blasio's Nightmare." It's not a bad piece, but this is really misleading (emphasis added):
The blue rage isn't rooted in any one statement de Blasio has made against cops -- in fact, he has been universally supportive of the rank-and-file in his public utterances. But in his past roles as a public official, he's often sided with the victims of police brutality, and recently told an interviewer that he has told Dante, his teenaged mixed-race son, not to reach for a cellphone around officers because it might put him in danger as a "a young man of color." He took the unusual step -- unimaginable under the mayoralties of Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg -- of inviting Sharpton to City Hall, seating him opposite Bratton at a table where the activist proceeded to strongly denounce the police.Haberman and Thrush are trying to portray Bloomberg and Giuliani as two responsible conservatives who were at odds with Sharpton, while de Blasio is a dangerous radical who hobnobs with him. In fact, while Sharpton was highly critical of Bloomberg on issues such as stop and frisk, the two have had a rather cozy relationship.
That was true starting immediately after Bloomberg was elected:
Two days after he'd squeaked past Mark Green in 2001, Bloomberg gripped and grinned with the Reverend Al Sharpton at a dinner for 100 Black Men. It seemed to be a chance encounter, two prominent New Yorkers at the same event, but in fact it was a highly staged handshake, choreographed by Bloomberg himself to send a message: He was no Rudy Giuliani, who fought first and talked later, if at all. The city was once again being run by a mature adult. Bloomberg made sure a photographer was present, and the next morning the shot was on the front page of the Post.That was from a 2009 article in New York magazine, which went on to say,
Sharpton appreciated Bloomberg's early gesture of respect, as well as the ongoing efforts by the mayor and his staff to keep the lines of communication open. Recently, Sharpton has become partners with Joel Klein in an initiative to close the performance gap between white and black and Latino schoolkids, further drawing him into Bloomberg's orbit.(Klein at the time was Bloomberg's schools chancellor. He later went on to work for News Corp and was subsequently described as Rupert Murdoch's "consigliere.")
Here's Mayor Bloomberg at a Martin Luther King Day celebration at Sharpton's National Action Network in 2002:
... just past 1:30 p.m. the Rev. Al Sharpton ... eagerly greeted Mr. Bloomberg and escorted him to a celebration overflowing with people and cheers. Once inside the headquarters of his political organization, the National Action Network, Mr. Sharpton announced he was taking off his ring, so no one could say that Mr. Bloomberg had come to the event simply to kiss it.Here are Bloomberg and Sharpton appearing together (with Newt Gingrich) after meeting with President Obama to discuss education in 2009.
Here's a Bloomberg-Sharpton joint press release from 2012:
"In December 2010, we travelled together to the Finger Lakes Residential Center in Tompkins County to highlight the broken status quo that is New York State’s juvenile justice system. Today, Governor Cuomo has answered the call with a bold proposal to fix it and New Yorkers should rally around his plan...."Here's Sharpton defending Bloomberg's gun control crusade in 2013, and claiming that Bloomberg's pro-gun critics were motivated by anti-Semitism.
And, after Bloomberg left office, here's a Daily News story about Sharpton's sixtieth birhday celebration:
Three-term former Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote: "You're truly a unique American voice. A voice that has matured a great deal without mellowing one bit. And your best days are still ahead."The story adds:
Sharpton stayed quiet about Bloomberg's decision to overturn term limits after he received a $110,000 grant from the mayor's nonprofit, the Daily News reported at the time.Yes -- when Bloomberg got New York City's term limits law suspended so he could run for a third term in 2009, he threw Sharpton a six-figure check, and Sharpton didn't object to Bloomberg's run.
So please don't suggest to me that de Blasio's immediate predecessor regarded Sharpton as beyond the pale.