It would not be accurate to say that Bill de Blasio had a good day yesterday. The dominant image in the news, for the unpopular New York mayor and superfluous presidential candidate, was hundreds of teens standing on the steps of City Hall to protest school segregation, chanting “Where’s our mayor?”
Still, he did achieve the first and only triumph of his presidential campaign. He may be a buffoon, but it is fair and necessary to record his successes, when and if they happen. The background was a prior act of buffoonery that de Blasio had committed, when he sent out a stunningly corny tweet in response to the news that Joe Biden, the current Democratic frontrunner, had expressed support for the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment. The tweet was this:
And when it comes to supporting American women on issues like repealing the Hyde Amendment, @JoeBiden is Dr. Jekyll.
It was a terrible tweet! Not only was it a forced-reference gag worthy of Mike Huckabee, it got the reference wrong, or, even worse, it created an opening for pedantic Twitter arguments about whether it had #actually gotten the reference right, on the grounds that although everyone knows the monster was Mr. Hyde, it was the supposedly mild and decent Dr. Jeckyll who was in fact etc. etc. etc. Bad tweet!
But there is at least one candidate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination who is an even bigger nincompoop than Bill de Blasio, and that is the candidate who is leading in the polls and goes around saying things about how he supports a notorious anti-abortion measure. After which, yesterday, Biden adopted his third position of the year on the Hyde Amendment, or returned to his first position, which he had previously denied having taken, and declared that he was against it, in the end (for now?).
And as Andrew Bogut’s 6-for-7 shooting so far in the NBA Finals demonstrates, a big, awkward guy can dunk just fine if someone sets him up right. And Joe Biden was made to be dunked on. De Blasio quote-tweeted the news:
Now can I do the Dr. Jekyll tweet?
It worked. It was a graceful acknowledgment of his earlier failure and a successful taunt of Biden’s flailing. This is in no way an endorsement of Bill de Blasio’s presidential ambitions, or his mayoral performance, or his overall communications skills, which remain absurd, demoralizing, and incompetent, respectively. But Twitter is its own arena, with its own standards, and on this occasion, de Blasio made a good play.