It's slim pickings in NYC mayoral race

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and ...

Here's the thing: One of them has to win.

All four of the major candidates for New York mayor have now had their own polling bursts. The latest puts Bill de Blasio in the top tier. He's the candidate who most resembles John Lindsay. He's tall. He's angular and trim. He definitely seems to like spending taxpayer money on pretty much any social program you can name. He is an unapologetic urban liberal in a field where no one is remotely running as a conservative.

Of the three others -- Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and Anthony Weiner -- it is the self-beleaguering Weiner -- once up, now down -- whose actual policy positions probably fall most to the right. He was, after all, a congressman from 718, not 212. And he learned his media-driven, middle-class moves at a knee of a modern master, Sen. Chuck Schumer, whose early-in-life districts partly overlap with Weiner's.

Come Election Day though, ideology in the left-right sense won't matter nearly as much as what serious political scientists refer to as "personal factors," in what most New Yorkers now refer to as "the people, I guess, we're gonna have to choose from."

That is a jumpy lineup to replace Mike Bloomberg: The biding-her-time City Council speaker against the almost-forgotten ex-city comptroller against the neo-Lindsay against the guy with the overactive Twitter account.

It's the greatest city on Earth. So these must be the greatest candidates, right?

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BLOOMBERG 2013

1. Why just three terms?

2. Sometimes businessmen do know best.

3. Stop-and-frisk-and-vote.

4. The next one will want to be paid?

5. 12 more years!ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Will teachers at Stewart Manor Elementary School really have to pay $50 a month for parking privileges? Can't Mayor Gerard Tangredi find someone less sympathetic to help him fill his budget gap? . . . What exactly will be researched at the newly proposed Plum Island Research District? For years, we've wondered exactly which diseases were being studied at the Plum Island Animal Disease Lab . . . Is Shop24 a trend? LI's first staff-less convenience store, which like the marriage of a quickie mart and a vending machine, opens this fall on the SUNY Old Westbury campus . . . Would Dr. Beach please just shut up? Every time he touts East Hampton's Main Beach -- "idyllic," "supermodels picking up litter" -- a fresh of wave of best-beach groupies crowds the formerly idyllic sand . . . Is plumber John LaVertu being harassed by the Town of Huntington for opposing the 379-unit Avalon Bay project? Or was his plumbing company really violating town regs? . . . Given the rising tides of climate change, are Montauk tourism officials printing up Montauk Island T-shirts yet? Doesn't Napeague mean Land of Flowing Water? . . . Excessive volleyball playing in Springs? Is that really what's put East Hampton's Town Hall nannies into scold mode now? . . . Should busting through too many red-light cameras in a town vehicle be a firing offense in Huntington? How come no other town council members would second Mark Cuthbertson's fire-'em motion?

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LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: JASON BASH

Jason Bash thinks he has an answer for super-sized Long Island tree losses from super-storms like Sandy: Windmill palms. They come from the Himalayas. They can handle snow and temps as low as zero, They don't lose too many branches even in hurricane-force winds. The president of Kokomo Trading Company, Bash has already donated the 8-to-10-foot palms to the village of Roslyn Harbor, where he lives, and the Clark Botanic Garden. Now he's donating more to East Hills. These trees, he says, "really are the answer to all these hurricanes." And despite the palm in their name, they won't make Long Island look like Miami.

Email Ellis@henican.com

Follow on Twitter @henican

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