In his new book “The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York,” the New York mayor claims that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because she refused to take the advice of de Blasio and other progressives.
Bucking the trend of Democrats blaming Russia, Wikileaks, Breitbart, and various other bogeymen for Clinton’s devastating electoral defeat occurred because Clinton refused to take advice from other prominent progressives with political experience, de Blasio is blaming Clinton refusal to listen to and take the advice of progressive Democrats who believed they could develop a strategy that would have made Clinton victorious.
Aside from strategy, de Blasio believes Clinton failed to adopt policy positions that were truly in line with the average Democrat. In short, he believes she should have campaigned for Bernie Sanders’ voters harder.
“I thought she would eventually take a stronger position on income inequality,” said de Blasio in an interview. “She could have generated more support if she had taken a stronger stance, and done it sooner.”
“There was a split within the campaign between the progressives and the moderates, and the latter won out,” he told Viteritti, a professor who chairs Hunter College’s Urban Planning and Policy Department and had worked for the Koch administration.
The author notes de Blasio’s belated endorsement of Hillary Clinton over his “philosophical compatriot” Bernie Sanders must have been “soul wrenching,” but says that in the end, the “pragmatic” and “loyal” mayor fell in line.
“Even as a mature political actor, this man who once dabbled in Marxist causes remains an odd player on the American scene,” Viteritti writes, referring to the mayor’s support as a young man for Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime.
De Blasio’s complicated relationship with the Clintons goes back decades, back to when the New York mayor helped Clinton win her bid for the Senate in 2000. Even before helping Hillary in 2000, de Blasio and held a fairly prominent position in Bill Clinton’s administration as a regional housing administrator.
The New York mayor also noted that he believes he was wronged by Clinton during the DNC in 2016, when former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was given a more prominent speaking position than de Blasio. He considered it an “unusual snub” for a progressive Democrat and current Mayor of New York.