Uber's sundry problems with cracking the code of New York City taxi regulations have been reported on about a million times at this point, so it would take a lot to get our attention and make us write another goddamn word about how the Ayn Rand-themed car service on your phone is doing in The Big Apple.
Revving its engines as it fights a proposal by the de Blasio administration and the City Council to limit licenses for new for-hire vehicles, Uber has brought in its top political strategist to court a high-profile ally of the mayor.
David Plouffe, the former campaign manager and White House adviser to President Barack Obama, met Monday with the Rev. Al Sharpton to persuade him to oppose the cap, according to two sources.
So let's get this straight. A former senior Obama administration official turned Uber executive is calling on Al Sharpton to get in Bill de Blasio's face on Uber's behalf?
[Crosses fingers] Please say yes, please say yes...
The reverend, who has a close and complicated relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio, "has questions" about the effects the cap would have on minority communities, a source close to Rev. Sharpton said.
Oh, this is going to be so good.
In addition to wonderful theater, this new tactic also demonstrates that Uber has really been paying attention since moving to NYC, observing the locals and picking up on the "cultcha."
Getting Al Sharpton to bother the mayor is one of the most New York City things ever. It's the political equivalent of folding your pizza slice, or shoving slow Midwestern tourists to the sidewalk so you can get your terrible job 45 seconds earlier.
Until now, Uber has been only dabbling in true Five Borough Behavior, planting absurdly obvious columns in anti-de Blasio tabloids and curating catered "protests" outside City Hall. Reaching out to Sharpton is a sign that Uber is taking the gloves off in NYC. It also gives us the strongest hint yet as to why Plouffe is getting paid over there.
Now that we're re-engaged with this story, we're hoping that Uber goes full-out New York.
For instance, we're going to be pretty pissed if this doesn't end with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick standing outside the gates of Gracie Mansion at three in the morning, drinking a 40 with the ghost of Joan Rivers and yelling "BABA BOOEY!"