Bill de Blasio was a new low for New York City. Even for a city that had suffered under Michael Bloomberg and David Dinkins (Bill de Blasio’s mentor), this was an incomprehensible orgy of corruption, insanity, and incompetence. But in its own way not so different from other woke politicians in cities like Portland and San Francisco.
Mayor Eric Adams, who now takes office, proved expert at playing on the city’s ethnic politics and riding the anti-woke backlash. In some ways he appears to be a throwback to a previous era of Democrat governance. But there are some reality checks on that enthusiasm.
1. Being better than Bill de Blasio or an even worse AOC puppet candidate is a low bar. Eric Adams has run on being a more common sense and less ideological mayor. But a number of Democrat big cities already have those with limited results. When the party itself is insane, being less crazy than the crazies only gets you so far. Adams appears to recognize that crime and lockdowns are major issues, but beyond that, expect NYC to keep burning money and pushing insane programs, like Adams’ support for “urban farming”.
2. Adams has had quite a political history and while his current incarnation is that of a seasoned politician who delivers for his base, there’s plenty of extremism in the past, including racism and support for Farrakhan. Is this stuff still in his head? We’ll find out soon enough.
3. If there’s any NYC mayor likely to be toppled by scandals whose name isn’t Carlos Danger, Adams is it. He’s flirted with scandals over the years and even during his mayoral run. It’s basically a question of self-control, but my journalistic instincts, for what they’re worth, tell me he’s a ticking time bomb. And Adams imploding would provide a perfect platform for the AOC wing to put forward its female candidate to step into his place as an act of political atonement.