Saturday, January 04, 2014

3rd way vampire squids signal their continuing committment to black mimetic cover




WaPo |  It isn’t often that the swearing-in of a new mayor of New York draws national television attention, but then, it isn’t every day that you see a mayor sworn in by a former president of the United States with a prospective presidential candidate also on the stage.

So there was plenty of symbolism and more than the usual amount of politics attached to the formal inauguration of Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday. Issues such as the prospects of liberalism in an ideologically divided country, the future shape of the Democratic Party and the political ambitions of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton all played out in front of New York’s City Hall.

De Blasio, now one of the nation’s most liberal elected officials, delivered an unabashedly progressive inaugural speech that closely tracked the themes of his “tale of two cities” campaign. It was the kind of speech not often heard in national politics since Bill Clinton redefined the Democratic Party as New Democrats.

The new mayor, who was the unexpected winner of his party’s primary and then won a landslide victory in November, sought to disabuse those who thought he would scale back his liberal ambitions once he faced the challenges of governing. To the crowd that sat huddled against the cold and to those watching on cable TV, he said: “Let me be clear: When I said I would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it.”

Outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg squeezed into a front row that included both Clintons and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). De Blasio, who had run explicitly on a platform of changing course from the Bloomberg years, briefly thanked the man who has run the city for a dozen years, first as a Republican and later as an independent. 

But that was mostly perfunctory. For the rest of his address, he promised to push New York to the left, as quickly and aggressively as his political skills will allow him. “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love,” he said. “And so today, we commit to a new, progressive direction in New York.”

It is that impulse that will make de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor of the city in two decades, perhaps the nation’s most closely watched mayor in the coming months.