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The little things

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
January 31, 2014 12:28:36 PM PST
It's the little things that often speak the loudest, right? I mean, the big things matter - of course - but it's often the small stuff, the tiny acts that give us the greatest insight into someone.

I was mulling the small-stuff theory as I was watching New York's new Mayor, Bill de Blasio, in action. He's been in office for a month, amid all sorts of fretting that he'd never managed anything really big before becoming Mayor of the country's biggest city.

The jury will remain out on the big picture stuff, because one month in the chair just isn't enough time to make a huge difference, although beginning to reform the NYPD is certainly a pretty big accomplishment in the first four weeks, right?

But the small stuff has been fascinating. The pizza eating - with a fork and knife - was more adorable than appalling. This very large man - unlike his smaller predecessors - not using his hands to tackle a slice, but a knife and fork. This working class kinda guy taking the refined high road of culinary manners, while his multi-billionaire predecessor used his hands.

The other acts that struck me as unusual were his apologies after the snow storms - for not plowing the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and for not plowing parts of Staten Island. The sentiment was that he was sticking it to some New Yorkers - and making sure most of Brooklyn and Queens were quickly plowed. And many are still not convinced that de Blasio wasn't trying to send a message to Manhattan as part of his Tale of Two Cities rhetoric. But he said he was sorry, and that the City had made mistakes. Wow. He was a pretty good manager, and certainly a good businessman, but I don't remember Mike Bloomberg ever apologizing like that - for anything, ever.

And then there was his latest offerings, about the Super Bowl. Today he said he was rooting for Seattle because he always roots for the underdog. C'mon - that's sooooo New York, right? And then the one that reached me the most - when he eschewed the opportunity to be treated like royalty at the Super Bowl game Sunday at Met Life Stadium - and instead said he would watch the game on TV with his son, Dante. Call me corny, but that dad-moment got to me. Good for Mr. Mayor. Better for Dante. I'm just sayin'.

There is news from out of this Super Bowl hype, and most of it involves security. At least 7 mysterious envelopes were mailed to hotels in New Jersey - containing some kind of white powder. Hazmat teams and the FBI are now involved.

We'll have the latest, tonight at 11, including the security scares today in New Jersey, as suspicious packages were mailed to 6 hotels and 1 post office. Turns out there was just corn starch inside - but who would do this? The security response - well, you can imagine.

One more note about the Super Bowl - the NFL, the $9 billion a year tax free for profit enterprise is apparently hinkey about anyone except itself using the words "Super Bowl." Go figure. Leave it to the brilliant Stephen Colbert to do the jumble letter game and come up with Superb Owl.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa, tonight at 11, right after 20/20- which tonight is a special with Diane Sawyer about the dangers of children exposed to guns.

BILL RITTER

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