Breaking News from the New York Times: Bill De Blasio Is Tall
"In a city defined by its verticality, Mr. de Blasio’s Bunyanesque build has proved to be a political bonanza," writes Michael Grynbaum, "allowing him to tower over smaller rivals and command a crowded room just by entering it." De Blasio, he argues, has long benefitted from his 6'5 stature, but now, as mayor, he will need to spend time and money on customizing the little things about the office, from his ride around town to the podium on which he gives speeches. The piece also notes that aides have had to teach de Blasio to "avoid expansive hand gestures" while giving speeches or attending events for fear that the mayor might accidentally hit someone with his hands while speaking.
Lest the reader believe that The New York Times would run a fluff piece on a progressive mayor without uncovering some as-yet-unearthed truth City Hall has been hiding, Grynbaum does deliver an exclusive bit of information: de Blasio may have been lying about his height this whole time. Grynbaum notes that the mayor "has long described himself as 6'5," but a bombshell revelation from aides and wife Chirlane McCray willing to grab a tape measure uncovered that "the mayor is nearly an inch taller than he has publicly let on. Mr. de Blasio stands 6-foot-5 and seven-eighths of an inch." It may not be a Wendy Davis-sized biographical lie, but Grynbaum quotes McCray as responding with lament at the new revelations: "The man I’ve known for 22 years is not what he appears to be."
To de Blasio's credit, he declined to participate in this sideshow of an article, despite his reputation for involving himself in every possible media story to generate headlines. Grynbaum implies that this might be because the Mayor is "sensitive about his height," as he was not "made available [to The New York Times] for independent review" of his height.
However, Grynbaum uncovers enough evidence to prove that no one seems to hold his height against him. After all, he never chose it. “I love the mayor, and I want to be hugged by the mayor,” a Queens councilman told Grynbaum, though hugging the mayor can be problematic, apparently, "when he's so tall that sometimes I'm not sure where to go in for the hug."
While The New York Times invested in this investigation, de Blasio all but killed the expansion of charter schools in New York City and faces growing frustration in City Hall from staffers who are not given any direction on how to run their departments.