Vogel: Hellllooo! There's a mayoral election going on
Most New Yorkers are sharp. They are savvy. They . . . have no idea who is running for mayor.
You read that right. According to a recent poll by The New York Observer, the majority of New Yorkers -- 55 percent -- can't name a single candidate. Not one.
When it came to face recognition, a slight majority did recognize one candidate. Can you guess who? You got it: Anthony Weiner. About half recognized Christine Quinn, and most were uncertain about all the others.
Meanwhile, 76 percent recognized Kim Kardashian. Insert your own joke here.
But we are not totally unaware. A Quinnipiac poll taken earlier this month shows New Yorkers strongly believe legalizing medical marijuana is "a good idea," by an overwhelming 70 percent to 26 percent. Yep, no uncertainty about that one. (Though I wonder how many know that Albany failed to decriminalize small amounts of it just last week?)
So why don't we all now put down our cannabis and find out more about who'll be leading this city, before it's too late.
As we increasingly become a celebrity culture -- with the definition of "celebrity" expanded to no-talent reality show "stars" as well as politicians who tweet crotch photos -- more of them run for office. Name and face recognition is vital -- as shown by Weiner's leap to the top of the polls. You want to run because you have some great ideas? Sorry, never heard of you!
Americans have already elected a B-movie actor president (Ronald Reagan), a bodybuilder-actor and a wrestler governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura), and a former comic U.S. senator (Al Franken). We almost put a vapid former beauty pageant contestant a heartbeat from the presidency (Sarah Palin).
But generally, we New Yorkers are more thoughtful than that -- aren't we? We'd never elect Mayor Donald "Celebrity Apprentice" Trump or Mayor Naked Cowboy.
Please tell me I'm right.
We're in the middle of summer now, but the mayoral primary is coming soon: Sept. 10. Don't you think more of us should at least know who's running?
How many can you name?
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.