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The Wall Street Journal reports that a new Siena College Research Institute poll shows that 67 percent of New Yorkers are unhappy about the chain of events that led to Amazon deciding not to open a second headquarters campus in Long island City, in New York City’s borough of Queens.

Only 21 percent thought it was a good thing that Amazon bailed out of the New York City project.

In fact, more people supported the Amazon NYC project than supported marijuana legalization (53 percent).

Three of the activist groups that opposed the Amazon project responded to the poll by saying it was an incomplete assessment of voter sentiment that didn’t take into account the larger social and economic issues involved.
KC's View:

I continue to believe that the death of the Amazon HQ2 deal in New York City represents a failure of imagination and storytelling by all of the players involved … and that there is plenty of blame to go around.

Amazon should’ve seen this coming - it wasn’t hard to imagine that there would be some objections, and it could’ve not just been prepared to answer tough and serious questions, but could’ve anticipated them and built tangible cultural responses into its proposals.

The government officials - especially the Mayor of New York City and the Governor of New York State - who backed the deal certainly should’ve been sufficiently in touch with the political climate to know that there would be objections, and they could’ve built answers to those tough and serious questions into their narrative.

Instead, we have nothing but recriminations, with the Mayor XXXXXXXXX getting particularly ugly about by being willing to imply that the turmoil in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ personal life was responsible for the decision, without being willing to actually say it and certainly not explaining the logic behind his conclusions. (He seems to think being coy is cute, but instead he just looks petty and disingenuous.)

It was interesting recently to see on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Donny Deutsch, one of the city’s most prominent advertising executives and a proponent of the Amazon deal - arguing that it would not just lead to Amazon’s investment, but also significant investment by thousands of ancillary businesses developed to serve the Amazon development - said that he’s actually considering a run for mayor. He seems to think that he can use the collapse of the Amazon deal as a metaphor for the collapse of intelligent, nuanced leadership.

I think he may be right, which would mean that the idea of Amazon’s HQ2 coming to NYC may live longer than the actual project.