Hi, Howard Wolfson, former chief press antagonist for Hillary Clinton and deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg. I don't follow you on Twitter, because I'm not too interested in your thoughts on your blandly Napoleanic billionaire patron and how great he is for explaining that God causes homelessness, or how you're hip because you listen to "cool" music and stuff. So please stop paying Twitter to "promote" them to me.
When the news broke last night that Mayor Bloomberg had tapped Howard Wolfson to join his administration, some people wondered if it was a sign the mayor was thinking (once again) about running for president. So is he? "I have no plans to run for president of the United States in 2012 or 2016 or 20-anything," Bloomberg told reporters earlier today. So now you can go back to just worrying about Scott Brown and Sarah Palin's chances in 2012. [NYDN, AP]
That sure was close, wasn't it? Going into the election, pollsters and pundits were predicting a double-digit win for Michael Bloomberg. But for all the money he spent ($157.27 per vote, compared to Thompson's $13.12), flashy endorsements he lined up, political rivals he forced into submission—and even with an opponent like Thompson who never quite got his act together—Bloomberg only managed to win by five percentage points. Yesterday's results will have implications for years to come, of course. We've rounded up a few of the early winners and losers below.
Working on Michael Bloomberg's reelection campaign might just be the best job in town. He's got lots of money to spend, of course. (He's already shelled out more than $18 million since Jan. 12 despite little in the way of competition.) And then there are those rides aboard his jet, where expensive wine and sushi is always on the menu. He's paying his campaign staff pretty well, too, as Jason Horowitz discovered. And he's generous about looking beyond what others might consider unfortunate career blemishes. Take Bradley Tusk, the mayor's 35-year-old campaign manager, for example. Tusk once worked for Chuck Schumer's communications office and for Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall. But then he took a job as deputy governor of Illinois under now-disgraced Rod Blagojevich, and then left to join Lehman Brothers as a senior vice president. (We all know how that one turned out.) But Tusk has bounced back nicely. He's now making $27,500 a month to run Bloomberg's campaign. And he's not the only one doing well. A roundup of some of Bloomberg key campaign staffers—and their salaries—below.
How did we miss this? The New Republic gave a blog to Howard Wolfson! Wolfson is Hillary Clinton's reviled old flack. He's known for his terrible sweaters, terrible NPR-schmindie taste in white people music, and for being a big loser like everyone else who is blamed for the mismanaged Clinton campaign. TNR editor (and big pussy loser, JUST LIKE HOWARD WOLFSON) Franklin Foer says: "The Flack aims to pull back the curtain on the dark art of the political operative. As Howard dishes out his punditry, he'll try to explain how the likes of Axelrod and Schmidt might work through their calculations." Yes, he'll pull back the curtain and then spew patent nonsense about what we can all plainly see behind this curtain. Then he will cry and listen to The Mountain Goats. [The Flack/TNR]
Former Hillary Clinton spokeshipster Howard Wolfson says Hillary Clinton totally would be president right now if the John Edwards scandal had gone public last year. "I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," he told ABC. And furthermore: Wolfson says the Clintons knew the story but didn't push it. "Any of the campaigns that would have tried to push that would have been burned by it." Ha. Bullshit. If they had the story, they would've planted it without getting their hands dirty. And furthermore, Edwards would've had to drop out right before Iowa, and not after. And furthermore, their Iowa ground game sucked and Obama's didn't. And frankly their campaign didn't kick into gear until they were losing and started taking shit seriously; being the frontrunner was a liability. But all that aside, playing alternative history is totally fun! So let's all pretend the Edwards revelations broke close enough to the Iowa caucus to force Edwards to drop out but not so far from them that everyone had already forgotten or stopped caring. What would our world look like now?
Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson is now a regular contributor to Fox News, but in his heart of hearts, he'd like to be a contributing editor at Spin. As we've mentioned, he regularly sends out indie-heavy playlists of what he's listening to to friends, fellow flacks, and journalists. And we finally found his 2004 end-of-year list! Complete with blurbs! Wolfson's top ten, and other assored bits of music criticism from the be-sweatered communications consultant, after the jump.
Howard Wolfson, the Hillary Clinton surrogate whose many television appearances were second in embarrassment only to Terry McAuliffe's, has a new job! The former communications director is taking his message of Cosby sweater-inspired victory to Fox News, where they continue to find new and inventive ways of hating the Clintons, like by parading their vanquished aides before the nation. Clinton's campaign came to believe that Fox was more fair to her during the primary campaign, mostly because they never tired of beating up on Obama and his pastor or whatever. Wolfson, recently named "the most charmless human being on the planet," is excited to bring his tireless advocacy for failure to the fair and balanced network.
So. We were just reminded of something else about Howard Wolfson, the Clinton communications manager who did not get along with the media. He's totally cool because he's into indie music! Seriously, he sends these playlists to his journalist "friends" (of which he has increasingly few!). The Observer mentioned his annual top-ten list of indie groups and added that "Mr. Wolfson says the darker driving hours are when he allots time to listen to music and to clear his head." Sad! He's probably driving around the beltway right now, doing the whole loop with Exile in Guyville on repeat. Does anyone have one of his playlists laying around?
If you're running for office, you really want your communiciations director to be at least respected by the journalists it is his or her job to manage. Hillary Clinton's flack was the oft-sweatered Howard Wolfson, who, it turns out now, was universally reviled. We already told you about how Vogue's Julia Reed called Wolfson "the most charmless human being on the planet." But Reed was not the only one who announced her hatred for Wolfson after the campaign ended! The Economist, while often subtly snide, is rarely so openly hostile as they were in their recent obit for the Clinton campaign: