One of the most powerful men in New York City has a problem, and he knows it — Mayor Bill de Blasio is chronically late. This is something his supporters likely caught wind of during his 2013 mayoral run: Even in the context of a political campaign, tight on time and rigidly scheduled, de Blasio's tardiness was often on display. But the mayor has an ironclad response prepared, in case anybody calls him out on it: He'll compare himself favorably to former President George W. Bush.
But calm down, de Blasio insisted:
George W. Bush was punctual. Unfortunately, he left the nation in worse shape than how he found it. ... I don’t think punctuality should be treated as a false idol; I think it’s the ideal state of affairs. But the most important thing is to get it right.
There was a time, granted, when criticism directed at our 43rd President was enough to court a little sympathy from Democrats and the political left-wing. But when you're rolling up to a Times interview 30 minutes late, and you set about defending your lateness — along the lines of 'You wouldn't prefer Bush be in charge, would you?' — that takes some serious gumption.
Unfortunately, de Blasio gives himself away in the end, admitting that punctuality is "the ideal state of affairs." How could that be true? That's what Bush did! More seriously, now that we're the point de Blasio is aware — painfully aware — of this shortcoming, it'd be nice to see him pay a little mind to self-improvement.
This isn't anything new. De Blasio once arrived an hour late to an 11:30 campaign event, and excused himself by explaining he was "not a morning person," an assessment his wife seconded. Of course, considering when he actually arrived, he isn't much of an afternoon person, either.
After all, it's really a pain in the ass dealing with those people that you know are always going to be late to everything. And when that person runs America's largest city, well, setting the alarm an hour early might be worthwhile.