February 19, 2014

Names matter

Bill de Blasio, New York's new progressive mayor, made a few missteps in the early days of his mayoralty. (How he handled the snow and school closings; whether he used his influence to get a friend out of jail, etc.) Because of this, he seems on the defensive more often than not. This is the first time he's had so much attention focused on him, and it shows. I like the guy and he has my sympathy. It's not easy to gain your stride while the cameras are rolling.

But yesterday, I think he made another mistake. He announced a new policy push called Vision Zero. Now, I know the name comes from Sweden's program of the same name. It refers to the hope that the number of pedestrian deaths can be reduced to zero. This is big in New York right now because there have been a lot of pedestrian fatalities lately.

But I'm sorry. If your political footing is insecure, you shouldn't call your big policy push Vision Zero. This will be used as a catcall against him. It doesn't sound good. It makes it seem like he has no ideas at all.

Just because a phrase works in Sweden doesn't mean it will work here. His advisers must be idiots.

Photo stolen from Raw Story.

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