The Voice, Shockingly, Endorses Norman Mailer
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June 12, 1969, Vol. XIV, No. 35
Editorials for June 17
The significant advance in this dreary primary is the introduction of Norman Mailer to municipal politics. He understands better than anyone around the anguish of the urban man frozen into an environment both unchallengingly easy and devilishly menacing. H has not the conventional knowingness of the politician and he is at his worst when he tries to mimic the politician, but he has the singular insights of what is probably the most remarkable mind in the country.
Mailer in this campaign has opened up a new dialogue on urban problems. He has become an irritating, occasionally infuriating, but creative national asset and should be nurtured. If he continues -- and he has indicated he will -- to use his head in the urban cause, which is after all the cause of the world, he deserves to be encouraged in that enterprise by a substantial vote for Mayor.
We should say, in fairness, that if Mailer were not in the race, we would support Herman Badillo, who is superior by far to the three remaining candidates. In terms of conventional politics, he is an excellent man.
We also think Jimmy Breslin deserves your vote for President of the City Council. He knows the city better than any of the other candidates -- on any line and in any category -- and genuinely cares about people in a personal, human way.
Carol Greitzer is the best example of the reform politician running in the upcoming primary. She is issue-oriented, enormously hard working, and totally committed to functioning effectively in the City Council. She knows the limits of the Council and how to use it as a forum. She is running in the Second District, and we support her.
Carter Burden, on the other hand, is the best representative of the "new politics" running in this primary. He is concerned about the human condition, he is personally engaged in the causes he espouses, he has a far-ranging mind, and he is in the process of defining himself in the crucible of politics. He is running in the Fourth Councilmanic District and he deserves to win.
It is probably superfluous to say we support John Lindsay in the Republican primary.
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