It is three days after the elections in Boro Park and people are still in shock. No one expected this. Not only has Mr. Greenfield pulled off a stunning upset, he won with numbers no one has ever imagined. If you would stop someone a week ago and tell him that Mr. Greenfield will trounce by nearly twenty percent, he would tell you: Stop dreaming! Even avid Greenfield supporters hoped that he would pull this off by a mere handful of votes. Some were suggesting that the results would be so close that there will be a recount. Indeed we’ve seen many comparing him to Scott Brown, the freshman Senator of Massachusetts. But the million-dollar question on everyone’s lips is, How did he pull this off?
Was it frustration? Of course it was! But is that the only answer? Is it possible that over 12,000 people took off precious time from their busy Erev Pesach schedule because of resentment? The answer might be yes, but there’s definitely more to it.
David Greenfield had a strategy that worked, but it worked better than he could ever imagine. His strategy was to appear as the underdog in the race in the preceding weeks of the campaign, and then emerge in the last couple of weeks as the ideal candidate. People generally don’t pay attention to races early on, especially in Boro Park. But what got him the momentum was that his opponent proved his point. People were in fact fed up with the status-quo, but not enough to do action. When negativity started flying in his direction, signs were being ripped off; people saw the threats and took them personally. People actually realized that the establishment must be stopped. Many individuals who were never involved in politics decided they must do something. People who met Mr. Greenfield on the campaign trail actually got to see that those titles and rumors thrown in his direction appear senseless.
The Lazar commission led a campaign of experience but also that Greenfield ideal. Lazar backers initially thought they have already won this election and eased back. But while his people weren’t really very enthusiastic over their candidate, Greenfield supporters rallied around their candidate. Mr. Greenfield had the charisma and highlighted his points very well. After all, David Greenfield knew how to run a political campaign; he was, in fact, involved in Senator Lieberman’s presidential campaign. Many heard the name Greenfield in the past, and others knew his positions and accomplishments from previous news articles.
It was indeed frustration that got him to win, but it was the Lazar campaign that spelled it out. People seemed to think that David was an up-and-coming star in Jewish politics, and the old power brokers feared his emergence. As Karl Rove recently said, “Negative politics only get the opposite party to gain.” I, for one, always supported David’s candidacy, I planned to vote for David all along, but what got me to actually work on his behalf was the negative propaganda and actions done against him.
I’d also like to point out, that when I sent David an email about stickers a lone individual put out against his opponent, David was furious. He responded to me that he would condemn it, and indeed put out a statement denouncing it (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=50548#). People viewed him as an honest person with integrity, and even more so, a real ‘People’s’ person. May Mr. Greenfield take the ‘Shem Tov’ he earned from this campaign to City Hall and really be Mekadesh Shem Shomayim B’Rabim.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.