NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — On his eighth day as New York City mayor, Eric Adams stood before reporters to announce federal funding for a pandemic-ravaged hospital system — and about some provocative work in his nascent administration. Raised questions.
Within hours, he was in front of the news cameras again, dealing with his first major disaster.
A fire broke out in a Bronx apartment building, killing 17 people, including eight children. Adams called it a “terrible, horrifyingly painful moment”, stood shoulder to shoulder with other politicians, and pledged to help the victims with every available resource.
In a frenzied engagement that Sunday, the new mayor stepped into the roles of cheerleader and crisis manager of the most burgeoning cities, all while facing questions about early controversies of his own making.
New York City’s Adams era is shaping up to be man: fast-paced, sometimes contradictory, and hard to pin down.
“It’s only been two weeks, but it also looks like it’s been two weeks,” said Christina Greer, a professor of political science at Fordham University.
Adams himself has long touted the easy classification and garnered a complicated reputation.
He’s a Democrat who won a crowded primary contest last year as one of the most liberal candidates in the field, but he backs down on the idea that he’s not progressive.
He is a black man who was brutally beaten by police officers as a teenager, who joined the police force and became one of its few internal critics. He rose to the rank of captain, clashing with the leaders of the department. He still has a close relationship with the department. He wore an NYPD hat to the scene of the Bronx fire.
He is a vegetarian who preaches the benefits of morning green smoothies and meditation. He has, in some cases, defended the police’s stop-and-frisk strategy and the use of solitary confinement in prisons.
He makes no secret of his love of New York nightlife and members-only nightclubs, telling the late show host Stephen Colbert that as mayor, “I should test the product.”
He takes the subway, like some of his predecessors, and insists that it is not a show. He speaks regularly about growing up in poverty with a single mother who cleans houses. He is known to wear designer loafers. He drives a Prius. He parked the Prius illegally and took it to the sidewalk. He wants to pay in cryptocurrency.
As mayor, Adams is said to have omnipotent and projecting command. He got out in front of the city’s first major snow storm, held a news conference and released videos on Twitter showing him walking about the city in the snow and saluting a stoop.
He presented a united city response to the fire, visited the scene, held meetings with school teachers of children who had died and attended a prayer service at a mosque, where many were victims.
Addams struck the right tone, coming across as a strong manager who showed empathy, said Basil Smicle, a lecturer and director of the public policy program at Hunter College and a former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party.
Adams also fluttered wings when he said New York, which has lost more than 36,500 people to COVID-19, needed an attitude adjustment.
“When a mayor has swagger, the city has swagger,” he said. “We’ve allowed people to bring us down so much that all we did was wallow in COVID.”
He reacted further when, saying that the COVID-19 shutdown is particularly harmful to those who cannot work from home, he added that “low-skilled” service industry workers” are not allowed to sit in Don’t have academic skills for” Corner Office. ,
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender, attacking his choice of words, saying that the idea of ”low-skill” jobs is “a myth perpetuated by wealthy interests to justify inhuman working conditions.”
Adams is celebrated for a variety of appointments, bringing in five women, four of whom are women of color, as deputy mayor, and recruiting the city’s first female police commissioner.
But he also raised eyebrows by hiring his brother $210,000 job, to run your security detail. Adams said his brother, a former police sergeant, was the most qualified person to protect him from “anarchists” and “white supremacy.”
Adams was also criticized over his selection as deputy mayor for public safety, Philip Banks, a former top NYPD commander who was the subject of a federal corruption investigation. When he retired from the department in 2014. Adams said that Banks, who was never charged, was the best person for the job.
Greer said Adams shares some qualities in common with two other politicians who, like him, hail from Queens: former President Donald Trump and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
All three men have nepotism, charisma, arrogance, arrogant behavior and an innate understanding of people and how to connect with them, she said.
The complex imprint behind their early weeks may be visible over the next four years.
Smicle said Adams is, at least for now, cushioned by a lot of political capital, with officials like Gov. Kathy Hochul seeking her coalition as she runs for re-election. He also has a diverse coalition of voters that took him to office.
“Even if voters don’t know him, they feel he represents a piece of their life,” he said.
Greer said Adams’ appeal to voters can vary from day to day. “I mean, you can’t call it that with that.”