“Early on there was an imperiousness,” said Neal Kwatra, a Democratic operative who has worked with de Blasio since his Council days. “It continued that way. He sort of sees reporters as almost colleagues and fellow operatives in the game of politics and there’s a little bit of ‘I know better than you.’”
That tendency has frustrated former and current allies who see a different de Blasio when he’s not battling reporters.
“He’s an empathetic guy, one on one and in smaller groups,” Kwatra said. “He can be a good listener. He can relate to people’s lives given his own history.”