Monday, September 24, 2001

KFWB radio reporting for Monday, September 24th, 2001

5:25 AM PDT

There was a lot of good said at Yankee Stadium yesterday - the words of, and the applause for, the Muslim leader, Imam Izak-El M. Pasha - were inspiring and reassuring. A stadium-wide singing of "We Shall Overcome" was moving and cathartic. But it was silence that made the difference.

The former president, Bill Clinton, and his wife, Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton, sat on the dais behind second base, and said nothing. In this city in which each remains extremely popular, each was satisfied to speak volumes merely by being present.

And seated in the Yankees box, singing, cheering, crying, was team owner George Steinbrenner. He had informed organizers beforehand that he thought it unseemly for him even to speak with the handful of sports reporters in the adjacent press box.

And for the seven hours the stadium was open, no one mentioned an awful, pointless gesture. In spite of rigorous security, a container of foul-smelling but not dangerous liquid - reported by the New York Times to have possibly been paint thinner or pipe-cleaning resin - was smuggled in, and left in the nearly-empty upper deck. No one was injured, and only the very few who encountered the smell were scared, because someone at Yankee Stadium made the decision not to announce the incident.


This isn't Abraham Lincoln trying to get re-elected during The Civil War, but it's still the strangest vote in the history of New York City.

The mayoral primary, postponed by the events of two weeks ago, will be conducted tomorrow - with the name of the man who could probably win the nomination of each party... appearing nowhere on the ballot.

He is, of course, the incumbent, Rudy Giuliani, and in these two weeks of hell he has gone from a controversial, polarizing figure, to the most popular New York politician since Fiorello LaGuardia. And he is prevented by term-limits from staying in office.

Giuliani has refused to jump on his own bandwagon, saying again today he hasn't had time to consider remaining. Some of his potential successors, restrained and respectful until today, have now ripped him and accused him of being coy. One, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, says this afternoon that Giuliani is now hurting the city.

At least once, New York has had to drag a mayor kicking and screaming from office. Literally. In 1857, Mayor Fernando Wood actually got a bill passed establishing his own Police Force. When the city's older police force tried to arrest him, the two sets of cops battled it out on the steps of City Hall.

That, is not a likely outcome this year. But almost anything else remains possible.