With New York a liberal city, why is it that so many locals seem to love progressive presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but not progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio?
Thousands of New Yorkers recently marched down Broadway to Wall Street cheering Sanders’ name. Meanwhile, de Blasio suffered a public relations defeat from last week’s carriage horse bill debacle.
While Sanders is showered with affection, our poor mayor asks, where’s the love?
I’ve spoken to many New Yorkers and hear the same theme over and over: Sanders’ authenticity versus de Blasio’s duplicity.
“De Blasio acts less like a progressive and more like a crony capitalist,” says Manhattan writer-actor Nicole Greevy.
The mayor campaigned on a “tale of two cities” theme, the superrich versus the less fortunate, and we took it for granted he sided with the latter. But we know what happens when you assume.
De Blasio’s failed attempt to push through the carriage horse bill included an attempt to get rid of pedicabs below Manhattan’s 85th Street, which would cripple the industry.
“It was an outrageous scenario that the powers-that-be would side with the moneyed interests in NYC against an immigrant workforce,” TWU Local 100 president John Samuelson told the New York Post.
The mayor then hastily put together a new plan that wouldn’t restrict the pedicabs.
According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, 42% of New Yorkers disapprove of the job de Blasio is doing. While he draws strong support in minority communities, his ratings among whites are dismal, with 67% disapproving of de Blasio’s reign.
When Sanders wasn’t considered a serious presidential candidate, de Blasio initially failed to endorse Hillary Clinton. Now as Sanders surges in the polls, the mayor supports her. And you wonder why progressives distrust him?
“New Yorkers can smell a phony a mile away,” said Chris, a NYC government employee who didn’t want his last name used. “Sanders is more to the left than me, but I like the guy — he comes across as straight shooter. De Blasio? Not so much.”
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.