New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce his candidacy for president on Thursday. I’ve lost track of the number of Democrats now in the field. but I believe it’s almost two dozen.
In trying to get a handle on this mad scramble of a race, I have suggested that there are three Democratic lanes — the establishment lane, the hard left lane, and the diversity lane. De Blasio will try to occupy the hard left lane because he’s a hard leftist. That’s clear from this brief description in the Washington Post of his record:
He proposed a plan earlier this year to expand the city’s public insurance option to guarantee health coverage to all New Yorkers, including those without legal authorization to live in the country. He supports legalizing the sale of marijuana in New York City in a way that would position nonwhite communities, including those with past marijuana convictions, to benefit from the new legal industry. In the 2016 presidential campaign, he delayed offering his endorsement to Clinton until October, while calling Sanders’s campaign “very helpful for this country and for the party.”
But Sanders’s current campaign isn’t helpful to de Blasio. The Vermonter dominates the hard left lane de Blasio hopes to drive to victory through. I see almost no possibility that de Blasio will displace the Vermont socialist and little possibility that he will even make a dent.
Can de Blasio switch over to the diversity lane? That’s a tough task inasmuch as de Blasio is White. However, the Washington Post notes that “[De Blasio’s] wife [is] Chirlane McCray, a black poet and activist who has described her sexual orientation as fluid.”
Is the concept of diversity fluid enough to encompass a White male with a Black bisexual wife? Or is the stain of white privilege not susceptible to removal by marriage?
I’ll leave that to the diversity crowd to work out. But even if de Blasio is allowed into the diversity lane, he almost certainly won’t make much headway there.
Does it matter these days how a presidential candidate is viewed by the folks he represents or serves in his current station? If so, it’s probably to de Blasio’s detriment. According to the Post, among New York City voters, only 31 percent of Whites and 40 percent of Hispanics approve of de Blasio’s performance. However, 61 percent of Black voters approve.
New Yorkers are unified, though, in the belief that de Blasio shouldn’t run for president. That’s the view of 76 percent.
My view is that De Blasio, seemingly a no-hoper in the presidential race, would have been wise to accommodate that preference.