Great Moments in Mayoral Candor

From "Who wrote this shit?" to "Aloha, motherfuckers."

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City of New York/Kristen Artz

The life of a big city mayor is one carefully crafted and highly scripted. But sometimes mayors just gotta tell it like it is.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reminded us of this fact July 3 during an excessively pun-laden speech about a hot dog eating contest, which he ended by asking, "Who wrote this shit?"

Thankfully, Bloomberg's not the only mayor willing to eschew the politician-speak that dominates mayoral podiums across the land.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter spoke very plainly and honestly to TV reporters after a late-night shooting left three teenagers dead in January. He told reporters that the best way to prevent unfortunate events like these from happening was for kids not to be out late at night, and for adults "not to act like idiots and assholes out in the streets of our city shooting at kids in a car."

And finally, no great mayoral quotes list can exclude former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, who once began a press conference with reporters via closed-circuit television while on a business trip in Hawaii with "Aloha, motherfuckers." [This one comes to us from the book The Quotations of Mayor Coleman A. Young, which is full of other golden nuggets, especially those relating to Young's adversarial relationship with the press.]

Top image: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the weigh-in ceremony for the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 3, 2012. Photo credit: Kristen Artz.

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.