Bread & Circuses & de Blasio

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio was slammed by the media for giving a closed-door speech to an AIPAC dinner in his town last week and barring the media. He said the secrecy was at AIPAC’s request. Of course it was; otherwise who’d have noticed?   

The unannounced speech included all the usual pandering, and by all accounts he said nothing particularly interesting and nothing he hadn’t said many times before.

What it was really about is that the lobby group got a great get, the new mayor and a rising star in national politics.  But it was more than bragging rights.  The lobby got all the pandering on the record (even if reporters were barred) for future use, second it got great publicity as powerful and influential, and, most important, it impressed the contributors that they were hearing something exclusive that no one else, especially reporters, could hear, and they were part of a confidential relationship with Hizzoner.

There’s another lesson: For a secret meeting to have any value there has to be a lot of leaks or no one will know how important the group and those who attended are.

The bottom line is the bottom line: It’s all about dipping into the deep pockets of Israel’s friends, and bread and circuses are an essential part of the care and feeding of rich contributors. 

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.