Soon-to-be-Gov. Kathy Hochul has promised no one will ever describe her administration as toxic. That welcome departure from what New Yorkers have endured for 11 years is not enough. The Albany swamp stinks far beyond the executive office she will soon control.

Some years back, a friend who is an executive recruiter told me this story. A Midwestern state had hired his firm to find a budget director. The search committee rejected out of hand a highly qualified New York State candidate he proposed. …

The best. (Barry Williams/for New York Daily News)

Among the many candidates running for mayor, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has the strongest combination of public sector management experience, political judgment and New York City relatability. That’s why I will vote for him in the Democratic Primary on June 22.

And in case you’re wondering, no: I have no connection to the campaign. I wasn’t asked to write this. I am simply, among other things, a scholar of the New York City mayoralty who’s written books about Mike Bloomberg and David Dinkins and likes what he sees in Adams.

The leader who takes office on Jan. 1, 2022…

In The Prince, Guardian reporter Ross Barkan offers a scathing assessment of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is filled with essential facts ghosted in Cuomo’s self-congratulatory memoir about his leadership during the health crisis that has killed an astonishing 50,000 New Yorkers. And Barkan is nearly as tough on his fellow journalists, whom he views as deeply complicit in levitating Cuomo to undeserved hero status.

Cuomo reacted slowly to New York’s first cases of COVID-19, Barkan reports, creating a false sense of calm with lethal consequences. Epidemiologists have projected Cuomo could have spared…

Rick Perlstein’s Epic History of Conservative Politics in America

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn (2020)

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (2014)

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008)

Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2001)

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn, the fourth and final volume of Rick Perlstein’s magisterial series on the rise of conservative politics in the United States between 1958 and 1980, emerged in the midst of the 2020 election for president that pit Donald Trump against Joseph Biden. …

Joe Biden’s election as president has renewed focus on the desperate need for economic relief and recovery policies. For New York, it comes not a minute too soon. Our city and state were in crisis long before COVID-19 laid the fact bare and magnified it, and we will need bold action at every level of government to get beyond the ill state of affairs that existed before the virus struck.

The stage has been set for it. Like the Great Depression and World War II, COVID has taught a generation that our economic and physical security depends on collective action.

Two New York governors published memoirs within weeks of each other recently: Andrew Cuomo’s much commented upon American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and David Paterson’s less noted Black, Blind & In Charge: A Story of Visionary Leadership and Overcoming Adversity. Politically attuned New Yorkers will learn few new details from these self-congratulatory narratives, although both provide insight into what makes a governor succeed or fail.

Paterson was lieutenant to Governor Eliot Spitzer in 2008 when federal agents recorded his boss arranging illegal date nights with high priced call girls. The revelations coincided with accusations that Spitzer had…

Beame, Bloomberg and de Blasio: Different problems; different outcomes. (AP)

New York City is confronting calamities as intimidating as any in its history. With inspired leadership and a federal government commitment, the city can recover rapidly from its multi-layered crisis, and there is even a chance that the shock of the moment can push aside progress-killing inertia to make way for long-overdue changes. But without support from Washington and without a savvy local leader to channel it, New York’s prospects are grim.

At the moment, New Yorkers are suffering from a malevolent leader in the White House and a strangely vacuous one in City Hall. …

The Declaration of Independence asserted we all have an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, yet a recent public survey suggests Americans are as unhappy as we have been anytime in the past half-century. It stands to reason that the government we created to give form to the Founding Father’s ideas should make it easy for people to do the things that will make them content. What are they? I put nine at the top of the list.

Enough money to pay for life’s basics, a safe place to live, and good health. An intimate relationship, and the love…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to rely on Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates to re-imagine how New Yorkers incorporate technology into our 21st-century economy and into the future of learning is smart and dangerous.

COVID-19’s painful disruption of business-as-usual across almost every aspect of daily life has blown up the status quo. Rather than rebuild the old world on the rubble, the governor has wisely recognized we have a chance to think anew.

The 8:46 minute video is arresting.

A police officer in Minneapolis is seen kneeling on a black man’s neck and back, suffocating him to death while three other officers watch with astonishing indifference. The black man was never armed and is already subdued. “I can’t breathe,” he says. The police do nothing. In dying desperation, he calls for his mama. A viewer’s heart breaks watching it, millions of times over, until the nation’s body politic spasms into protest the way a human body suffers a seizure.

The crime?

George Floyd was accused of passing a phony twenty-dollar bill. The piece…

Chris McNickle

#NewYorker, historian, author & believer in government & business working *together* towards a better quality of life for all.

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