10:36 am Apr. 12, 20127
The normally understated and highly influential New York consulting firm, SKD Knickerbocker, whose current and former clients include Barack Obama, Andrew Cuomo, Michael Bloomberg, and the Democratic National Committee, was at the center of two new stories this week.
On Monday, the New York Post reported that the head of the teachers union said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was politically suspect, because of the fact that she takes guidance from consultants to the mayor and a to a new pro-charter, explicitly anti-teachers-union group.
That was a reference to Josh Isay, one of the firm's managing partners, who knows enough to avoid public attention when he can. Isay is advising Quinn on her planned run for mayor next year; the firm is also advising a StudentsFirstNY, which will be headed by Micah Lasher, Bloomberg's outgoing chief Albany lobbyist and Isay's former business partner.
United Federation of Teachers chief Michael Mulgrew told the Post, "If I’m Chris, I’d be asking myself: Maybe I don’t want to be working with these people who are also working with the mayor to control something that he should have no business controlling anymore."
The second story involving SKD was both less substantial, in terms of what it actually says about anyone's politics, and much bigger, in terms of the attention it has gotten from the national media. That would be the firestorm kicked off by Hilary Rosen, a managing director of the firm's D.C. office, who drew the opprobrium of national Republicans, and defensive admonishments from the White House, when she said that Mitt Romney's stay-at-home wife Ann "has actually never worked a day in her life."
As Steve Kornacki noted, the comment, as ill-advised as it was politically, becomes considerably more boring in context, and more meaningless in light of the fact that Rosen isn't in a position, even indirectly, to be speaking for the Obama campaign.
Isay did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Ann Romney affair.