I had been wondering where she was.
The offices for my son’s doctor are at 1 Pierrepoint Plaza, and in this season of sports injuries, the building has been a frequent destination for us.
The building is also the address of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign headquarters, a location she unveiled to great fanfare in April. Yet, I haven’t seen a sign of her there.
When Clinton announced her 2016 campaign had moved in, her staff released a video called “Hello Brooklyn!” showing Brooklynites joyously greeting their new neighbor, including a man with a car plate that read “BKLYNUSA.”
“How can you beat that?” she exulted.
So, where is she? Well, she doesn’t show up much at Pierrepoint, and apparently runs her campaign out of midtown, according to news reports. After all, as cool as Brooklyn is, money and power still reside in Manhattan.
Journalist Walter Lippmann wrote, “I live in New York and I have not the vaguest idea what Brooklyn is interested in.”
No one would write that today. Our foodies wield global influence, with “tres Brooklyn!” now a Parisian term of praise. So do rappers like Brooklyn native Foxy Brown (she called us “the thoroughest borough”), and the brittle, damaged hipsters like those on Lena Dunham’s show, “Girls.” We Brooklynites never stop telling the world what we are interested in.
Coolness helps a brand — whether Dunham’s or Clinton’s. But money drives politics more than coolness.
Of course, gentrification has increased the wealth in Brooklyn. Right near Clinton’s Brooklyn Heights headquarters, a two-bedroom condo can set you back $2.6 million. But 2013 census data show that only 9.1 percent of our households can boast incomes of more than $150,000, compared with more than a quarter of those in Manhattan. And that’s a modest income when we’re talking political influence, because it’s the richest Americans — billionaires — who shape policy the most.
Despite campaign rhetoric about her “listening tour” and the concerns of ordinary Americans, Clinton spends much of her time talking to donors. And the richest of these mostly don’t live in Brooklyn — yet.
Liza Featherstone lives and writes in Clinton Hill.