Will NYC Have it's Own Barack DeBlasio? - The Jewish Voice
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Will NYC Have it’s Own Barack DeBlasio?

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Following the lead of the President, will NYC have it's own
Following the lead of the President, will NYC have it’s own
Democratic dark horse Bill De Blasio strode to an easy victory in last week’s mayoral primaries. The Public Advocate easily outpaced former frontrunner Speaker Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson, who almost beat Mike Bloomberg the last time around. De Blasio’s triumph caught many off guard – but it shouldn’t have. We have already seen the same thing happen in 2008. Only that time, it was in the Presidential elections and the victor in question was Barack Obama.

There are a number of striking similarities between the two. Some are quite obvious. They were both no-hoper candidates who strode over more established, moderate Democrats to nab the win. Both are self-described left-of-liberal progressives. Both had very little political and managerial experience before their victories – Obama was a one-term US Senator (sort of) and De Blasio served as NYC Public Advocate, whatever that is.

Both candidates cried foul over the perceived earning and lifestyle gap that exists in the US. Obama openly called for wealth distribution, and De Blasio’s campaign slogan was “A Tale of Two Cities”. Both, ironically, fail to embrace these tenets in their personal lives – Obama loves golf, Martha’s Vineyard, and fancy restaurants; De Blasio’s victory party was open to celebrities and trusted reporters while his campaign staff and the rest of his supporters were forced to hang out outside.

Both candidates used race to their advantage – Obama was touted as the 1st Black president, while De Blasio plastered his 15-year-old biracial son Dante all over his ads. His son’s afro even served as his campaign logo. These tactics succeeded, as De Blasio pulled in more Black votes than even rival Bill Thompson, who is Black.

Both Obama and De Blasio skated to victory by ripping on their opponent’s previous failings with the advantage of not having a record of any kind of their own. Both learned to harness the potent power of social media to gain support and encourage dialog online.

Some of the similarities between the politicians are a bit more subtle. For example, it is common knowledge that the president changed his name to Barack Obama from Barry Soetoro. Not as many people are aware that Bill De Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm.

Upon close inspection, their takes on crime-fighting are virtually identical. Upon election, Obama assured the nation that fundamental Islamists who had been killing Americans for years can be reasoned with, and promptly embarked on a world tour to let his views be known. De Blasio, too, believes that New York is in a post-crime age, and the life-saving policies utilized by Ray Kelly and the NYPD are throwbacks to a bygone era. De Blasio promised that firing Kelly, who heroically foiled a number of would-be terrorist plots, is one of his first orders of business.

Obama’s over-arching legacy is the Affordable Healthcare Act, an ironically unaffordable overreach that is currently being torn apart by congressional and popular dissent. De Blasio’s pet project is his fight to keep Long Island Hospital open, and incredibly expensive and inefficient endeavor that has no place in a world with more cost-effective digital solutions.

In short, both candidates are masters at playing to public sentiment via illusion. Each has no real prior experience to speak of, and each has no real plan for the future. Each rode to victory by lambasting the rich, crying racism, crucifying law enforcement and security personnel, and cozying up with celebrities. Their message, to many, is attractive – assurances of hope, change, and equality are nice to hear in these turbulent times. But if the current presidency is anything to go by, electing a candidate based on how pretty his speeches is doomed to failure. Obamacare is wildly unpopularon both sides of the aisle, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin has spent the last couple of weeks entertaining himself at the expense his inexperienced and far-less savvy US counterpart on the international stage. The message is clear – politicians should be chosen based on a proven track record and the soundness of their policies, not on the catchiness of their campaign slogans.

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