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November 06, 2013 3:12 PM Is NYC a “Populist” Indicator?

By Ed Kilgore

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 is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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