Today on another 9/11 anniversary we may be seeing a significant shift in New York City politics. You’ve probably heard that Democrat Bill de Blasio came in first in yesterday’s mayoral primary. We’re waiting for all the absentee ballots to be counted to see if he got 40 percent of the vote, which would relieve us all of the need for a runoff with the second-highest vote earner, William Thompson.
De Blasio has been called an “unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal” who has vowed to end the city’s racist “stop and frisk” policy. The establishment candidate, the one all the newspapers and Mayor Bloomberg endorsed and who had the backing of whatever Powers That Be run the city, was Christine Quinn. She came in a distant third.
For months I kept hearing that Quinn had the nomination sewed up, and the only rival who might give her a serious challenge was Anthony Weiner. You can see how that turned out. This is one reason why I keep tuning out people who have already conceded the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton. As an old saying goes, there’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.
Another interesting aspect of the race is that Quinn, who is openly gay, got a lot of early liberal support because she would have been the first woman, never mind lesbian, mayor of New York City. But Quinn turned out to be a squishy moderate, politically, and there was a late surge for de Blasio, who said all the right stuff for many people.
The financial elites of New York City are in a panic, because de Blasio has pledged to raise taxes by half a percent on incomes of over half a million dollars and use the money to fund universal pre-k. Oh, the horror!
I agree with Steve M —
Of course, the rich aren’t really “terrified.” They’re insulted. They’ve been the kings and queens of the last decade or two. They’ve come out of the economic downturn smelling like a rose; we now have levels of inequality not seen since the 1920s. And they feel entitled to more of the same. They think they deserve an exemption from criticism.
I expect the Republican nominee, Joseph Lhota — a relic of the Guiliani administration — to get a big boost in campaign funds for the general election. The Powers That Be are going to throw everything at their disposal to knock down de Blasio.