We strongly recommend Democrats go down this road.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday launched a liberal policy agenda he’s hoping will guide the political debate — and heighten his national profile — heading into 2016.
Speaking outside the Capitol on a sweltering day, de Blasio announced an economic plan designed to alleviate income inequality through 13 specific policy prescriptions favored by the left, including a $15 federal minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform and universal child care for working mothers.
The mayor — flanked by a host of Democratic lawmakers, labor leaders, immigration reformers and other liberal activists — said the agenda turns on a simple notion: “We need to reward work,” he said, “not wealth.”
“Something is changing in America. It’s time to take that energy and crystallize it into an agenda that will make a difference,” he said. “We’ll be calling on leaders and candidates to address these issues, to stiffen their backbones, to be clear and to champion these progressive policies.”
Judging by his rousing success in New York we say to Democrats: Go for it.
Next, it’s off to California for a couple of university speaking gigs and a fund-raiser with a room full of Internet billionaires.
Meanwhile, back home, his police commissioner is begging for new officers in the face of a spike in shootings and what he calls a “dramatic” rise in the terror threat here.
Plus, key issues like the city’s rent laws and mayoral control of the schools are being decided — in the mayor’s absence — in Albany.
A new Quinnipiac Poll shows nearly half of New Yorkers believe de Blasio’s trips are distracting him from his duties. Even his fellow Democrats are evenly divided on the question.
And his overall approval ratings have hit an all-time low.
The mayor defends his excursions by saying that New York’s chief executives have long served as national spokesmen on urban affairs and on national issues that can impact the city’s future.
True enough — but past mayors have waited until they’d been on the job longer before trying to grab the national stage. De Blasio’s looking more focused on his own ego than on the city’s needs.
And also as not especially in touch with reality, since we also doubt Americans are eager to adopt his agenda — which was just soundly smacked down by British voters.
How about booking your flight home now, Mr. Mayor — and making it a one-way ticket? Your day job needs you.
Judging by how much New Yorkers hate him, we imagine they’d rather he stay away. Things couldn’t get any worse, can they?