TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
Opinion

A peek behind the curtain

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/gt29

Daily Point

Bloomberg’s motivation

One measure of the brevity of Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is that a new biography of him, which came out in September, did not include his run.

Yet Eleanor Randolph’s “The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg” has a lot to say about why the former New York City mayor got in the 2020 presidential race, and what he might do now that he decided to get out on Wednesday (ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren). 

That’s because Bloomberg had pondered such questions as recently as spring of 2019, and Randolph had access to him and his advisers. That allowed her to shed light on the decision. 

So what aspects went into Bloomberg's ultimate decision to run? Find out here.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

A noticeable omission

Rep. Tom Suozzi held a brunch Saturday at Chateau Briand in Carle Place. 

But this wasn’t just any brunch. In fact, there were so many RSVPs that it had to be moved from a venue in Woodbury to the bigger site. 

The gathering was for “Women for Suozzi,” where more than 500 local leaders and other women gathered to support Suozzi’s reelection campaign. Among the honorary hosts were Rep. Kathleen Rice, who was also the emcee, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. Many spoke of Suozzi’s mentoring role in their political lives.

The lengthy list of women who participated also included Linda Beigel Schulman, mom to teacher Scott Beigel, who was killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018. Several Suozzi female family members also were on the list. 

But there was one notable name missing from the long list of local women advertising their support of Suozzi: State Sen. Anna Kaplan.

Kaplan ran against Suozzi in the Democratic congressional primary in 2016, although Suozzi spoke highly of her when she was sworn in to the State Senate in early 2019, saying she’d “stand up for what this country stands for.” But the other complication is that Melanie D’Arrigo of Port Washington, who is gathering petitions to challenge Suozzi from the left in June’s Democratic primary, volunteered for Kaplan in the past.

Kaplan, it seems, didn’t want a Women-for-Suozzi label.

—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Money (doesn't) talk

For more cartoons, visit http://www.newsday.com/cartoons

Reference Point

Fantastic Plastic

New York’s plastic bag ban took effect on Sunday, amid similar bans in other parts of the country and an increasingly skeptical outlook on plastic in general — whether it’s excessive packaging, disposable goods or the presence of the substance in landfills and oceans.

But it wasn’t always that way with plastic.

Seventy-five years ago this week, Newsday sent its “Curious Cameraman” to Suffolk County to ask residents: “How would you like to live in the super postwar plastic age they have promised us?”

The answers were published on the editorial page on March 5, 1945, and they were, shall we say, not timeless.

James MacIntosh, a florist from Islip, said that “the possibilities of the plastic age will be far reaching. It will mean a more healthier (sic), comfortable life, making it really worth living.” Among the innovations he foresaw: “There might be houses made from that material which will be cheap and durable for the moderate or low income families.”

Mrs. Leo V. Rooney, identified as an Islip Terrace housewife, saw a host of improvements with plastic — new utensils (“housework will be a pleasure”), cars (“just think of all the lucky drivers who won’t have to put up with dented fenders”) and even airplanes (“made out of plastics and at a price so that most people can afford one. Just think of dropping in on your neighbor some Sunday afternoon and landing on their roof.”).

Plastic helicopters were envisioned by Joe Carley, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Bay Shore, who took the occasion to chart out a big-picture future. “The trend will be to move out to the country to live in large spacious homes with self-contained power plants, since those helicopters and ultra-ultra autos can shoot you into the city on short order, landing on plastic roofs or riding up plastic ramps.”

It was left to Islip barber Frank Solidino to apply the brakes. “I sure would like to live that long,” he said. “I believe that kind of age won’t be here for a long time yet.”

Solidino was onto something. It took another 22 years, before Benjamin Braddock, the 21-year-old recent college graduate played by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” received from a friend of his father an immortal piece of advice about his future: “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Columns