When Bill de Blasio entered New York City’s mayoral race, nobody gave him much of a chance. He was an afterthought during the early days of the Democratic primary, trailing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former party nominee Bill Thompson and even scandal-plagued ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.
The city’s public advocate, de Blasio had made a career of standing up for the little guy. And that didn’t win him many friends among the big-money interests that normally run things. Three-term mayor Michael Bloomberg was definitely not on his side, for one.
And de Blasio wasn’t even apologetic. He pledged to keep fighting for the underdog if he was elected mayor. His goals included providing economic opportunity for the city’s minorities and working class. And he set his sights on such abuses as the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy which singled out blacks and Hispanics.
He even had the nerve to call for a tax increase on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for a universal pre-kindergarten program.
Furthermore, few figured New Yorkers would elect a guy who had spent his honeymoon in Cuba and worked for Nicaragua’s Sandinistas (until he found out they were using torture).
Undaunted, de Blasio proudly trotted out his black, gay-rights activist wife, Chirlane, and their kids, Dante and Chiara, during the campaign (see family photo above).
Dante’s afro is credited with turning the tide in de Blasio’s favor, and by election day, he was a big favorite. Nobody was surprised when he won – even though New Yorkers hadn’t elected a Democratic mayor in 24 years.
You might think cable TV would be all over this story, but I haven’t seen de Blasio’s face on my set since election night. It’s that big bully Chris Christie who is sucking up most of the air time.
The TV pundits seem fascinated by the New Jersey governor’s landslide victory. Apparently, they harbor the outlandish notion that this might mean a more moderate future for the Republican Party.
I am left wondering why they don’t showcase de Blasio instead of wasting my time with wild surmise about frauds like Christie.
Is he too progressive?