Jack Donaghy...er...Alec Baldwin for Mayor?

A real, live political consequence of Anthony Weiner's personal problems is that Alec Baldwin may run for the New York mayoralty. (Weiner had been considered a front-runner, and now…not so much.)

Baldwin's qualifications for office are essentially the same as Mitt Romney's were, when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, or Michael Bloomberg's when he ran for mayor: I'm interested in politics, and I was successful at something else.

Unlike Bloomberg or Romney, Baldwin hasn't run a large organization, so that's a strike against him. Still, all three are examples of the popular idea that working as an elected official in lower levels of government is not the best preparation for working as an elected official in higher levels of government.

But a politician like Christie Quinn, another mayoral hopeful and the current chair of the City Council, has much more experience than an outsider like Baldwin with the issues that New York is facing right now, like tight school budgets and a shortage of affordable housing. Baldwin, on the other hand, "has an impressive grasp of the issues" (which issues?), according to a 2008 interview with 60 Minutes, and "spends a huge amount of his time and money supporting causes he believes in, like animal rights, the environment, and the arts."

But does he believe in efficient snow removal? Because that's the sort of problem that Bloomberg was dealing with, and not always effectively, all this winter. Quinn has plenty of good ideas on how to improve those level of city services. Still, if a poll asked voters how they viewed Baldwin and Quinn right now, Baldwin's favorability ratings would probably be higher. Because everyone loves Jack Donaghy.

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