Opinion: I do not want to live in a world without Bill Hammond's commentary


At first blush, Bill Hammond appears to be a mild mannered intellectual, unremarkable in a uniform of blue jeans and a blazer. You will never hear him pontificate, although his furrowed brow is a sure sign he has something to say. He barely ever speaks above a whisper, but give him a pen and his voice roars off the page.

Agree or disagree with him, when Bill Hammond writes, he must be read.

As of Wednesday, Bill’s weekly column will no longer appear in the New York Daily News. I am beside myself.

For the past 10 years, Bill has wielded nuance and sophistication on a battlefield of rhetoric. Whereas politicians strive to communicate big ideas simply, Bill deconstructs them to expose complexity. When some try to convolute facts, Bill extracts the basic truth.

And he does it with shocking ease.

Certain themes dominate his work, which spans topics as varied as tax policy, healthcare and education, but at root it remains an unrelenting commitment to intellectual honesty. In Albany, where seemingly everyone has a price, Bill Hammond cannot be bought or flattered. That’s why his readers trust him.

And that why, whether you’re a politico, a union boss, an elected official or a journalist, as a citizen you need Bill Hammond to exist.

I do not want to live in a world without his regular commentary. I’m hoping that none of us will have to for very long.

Alexis Grenell is a Democratic communications strategist based in New York. Find her on Twitter: @agrenell