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Running to the finish line

Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

Will there be a run-off among the Democratic candidates for New York Mayor? If you believe the latest poll, there won't be. Bill de Blasio, the current Public Advocate, has catapulted above the 40 percent mark, which, if it holds, would mean he would win the Democratic nomination on Sept. 10.

What a strange race, right? Until Anthony Weiner imploded when the rest of his story came out, it was a fairly tight race. But Weiner's plunge benefited de Blasio, as did his well-crafted ads featuring his bi-racial son and his African-American wife. Their family looks like many New York families - or at the least looks like the kind of diverse families that New Yorkers like to think they embrace.

A brilliant ad, it turns out.

Last night's debate ended with the other candidates taking aim at de Blasio - although with a rule of 15 second answers it was darn-near-impossible to take aim at anything with any sense of substance.

The election is next Tuesday, and unless someone gets some traction, and fast, we could see a de Blasio versus Joe Lhota general election in November.

We'll have the latest on the race, tonight at 11.

Meanwhile, if you want to see Mr. Weiner in action - and recall some of his talents when as a Congressman he was quite the bulldog on cable TV newscasts - check out this YouTube entry, taken at a bakery in Brooklyn today.

Speaking of politicians making news - Sen. John McCain today waved his iPhone to reporters on day two of testimony to the Senate committee hearing about the crisis in Syria. He was caught yesterday playing poker on his smartphone. And, like the McCain of old, he said the most embarrassing part wasn't getting caught by a photog for the Washington Post, it was that "I lost" the poker game.

On the more serious front about Syria, Sen. McCain leading the charge for the Foreign Relations Committee vote that passed a resolution allowing a U.S. attack on Syria. But McCain - who has pushed for more action - put up two amendments to expand the U.S. military role so it weakens the Assad regime and helps the (Al Qaeda-backed) rebels. Pres. Obama specifically said he did not want to do that - get involved in the civil war.

This could be a mess. I'm just sayin'.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, and I hope you can tune in at 11. I will be off for the Jewish holiday, but will be back for tomorrow night's 11. This column will resume on Friday.

Have a great night, and if you observe, a Happy New Year.

BILL RITTER

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