Is NYC a “Populist” Indicator?

Among the things I didn’t watch that closely last night because it was so predictable was Bill DeBlasio’s big mayoral win in New York. It was the first Democratic mayoral victory since 1989 in a city with a 6-1 Democratic registration advantage. I suppose it’s significant that Republican candidate Joe Lhota wasn’t able to red-bait DeBlasio. But Lhota was no Michael Bloomberg or Rudy Giuliani, either, and you don’t have to go too deeply into ideological interpretations to account for a Democratic win over a weak opponent in a city that’s ambivalent at best about the Bloomberg legacy.

Still, Ryan Cooper’s right: de Blasio’s primary and election wins will contribute to a broader debate in the Democratic Party over its message on economic policy, and how the new Mayor performs in the most-watched city in America will have an impact as well. At a minimum, Democratic fears about being accused of “class warfare” when discussing inequality can and should subside significantly. And Wall Street doesn’t have to look far to see a politician willing to aggressively promote the interests of those of us who live in a less rarefied atmosphere.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.