The listicle giveth, and the listicle taketh away.
Minneapolis usually lands near the top of lists about cities for biking, parks and livability, but now the online-only newspaper the New York Observer has named Mayor Betsy Hodges the second-worst mayor in America.
In an article that ranked Hodges just above New York’s Bill de Blasio and just behind Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, a political and branding consultant named Arick Wierson said Hodges has alienated the left and the center in Minneapolis with her “Charmin-soft approach to governing,” her handling of the Jamar Clark protests and her “weak stance on crime.”
Wierson, who once worked for Michael Bloomberg and now consults for the government of Angola, gave Hodges points for good intentions, but also blamed her for “gross mismanagement of public works” such as the Nicollet Mall project, and losing the Minnesota United soccer stadium project to St. Paul.
In a statement following the article’s Tuesday morning publication, Hodges relished the opportunity for a public spat with the Observer, which was owned by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner until he turned it over to his brother-in-law earlier this year. Hodges said the article was a response to her Monday night speech expressing her desire to stand up to Trump on behalf of Minneapolis.
“Well, I got Trump’s attention,” she said. “Last night I gave a speech about how we as a city can come together in the face of Trump’s attacks on our communities and our democracy, and his agenda of suppressing free speech and dissent. Twelve hours later, the paper that Jared Kushner’s family owns — that Jared himself ran until 88 days ago — named me one of the worst mayors in the country. Imagine that. When Trump’s cronies are the people attacking you, you know you’ve done something right.”
Major city mayors generally have been at odds with the Trump administration since he took office, since many of them are sanctuary cities and the president’s cabinet has made repeated, vague threats to yank federal funding from cities that don’t aggressively enforce immigration law.
I’ll say it again,” Hodges went on. “If Donald Trump wants to harm cities and the people who call them home, he’ll have to come through me.”
Wierson, according to his surprisingly detailed Wikipedia page, grew up in Excelsior, Minn., and lives in Brooklyn.