By LOUIS FLORES
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) will be traveling to Iowa in a desperate and karmically-challenged attempt to shore up the cause of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s sagging presidential campaign in advance of Monday’s caucuses.
On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio was interviewed on the MSNBC morning talk show, “Morning Joe,” and he was asked to comment about an emotional moment during a campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), during which a woman broke down in tears, describing what life was like living with a disability that restricted her ability to earn an income to approximately $10,000 per year.
During the interview with MSNBC, Mayor de Blasio retorted that former First Lady Clinton would be able to “relate” to the economic troubles of voters, because at one point in time, the former First Lady chaired a failed effort to create a universal healthcare system during the Clinton administration that placed her in a position to take on “big insurance companies,” Mayor de Blasio said.
“I remember that vividly. Maybe some people, who are younger, don’t remember just how dramatic that struggle was, but she had the entire American insurance industry against her, personally,” Mayor de Blasio said, adding, “That was to fight for tens of millions of people, who didn’t have health insurance.”
Mayor de Blasio expertly side-stepped two critical issues that had the potential to reveal the disingenuous political arguments that underpinned his duplicitous support for former First Lady Clinton’s presidential campaign.
First, former First Lady Clinton had previously supported a universal healthcare system in the era described by Mayor de Blasio. However, after her initial efforts failed, former First Lady Clinton has pivoted away from advocating for a truly universal healthcare plan. In this campaign season now, former First Lady Clinton has defended the neoliberal healthcare system known as Obamacare, and she has hypocritically attacked the campaign platform of her insurgent primary challenger, Sen. Sanders, for supporting a single-payer healthcare system.
Second, former First Lady Clinton does not support a $15 floor for a Federal minimum wage. Meanwhile, Sen. Sanders does support the Fight for $15 campaign. Despite living through a new Gilded Age of extreme income and wealth disparities, Former First Lady Clinton has said that she believes that hard-working Americans only deserve to earn a minimum wage of $12 per hour.
Whereas it might have once been true that former First Lady Clinton might have embraced more radical leftist politics in her youth, now, she has been described as a defender of trickle-down economics, and she is being forced into an untenable position of self-anointing herself as a liberal whilst at the same time defending her $200,000 per hour paid speeches she has been making at Goldman Sachs.
When Mayor de Blasio was asked during the “Morning Joe” interview if he thought that former First Lady Clinton had changed, Mayor de Blasio said, “I don’t think she’s changed.”
In a report filed by Michael Grynbaum for The New York Times, Mayor de Blasio’s trip to Iowa was said to have been hatched with the intention to shore up former First Lady Clinton’s “bona fides among liberals.” The trip, the report noted, was being orchestrated by the political consultants in the teams serving each of Mayor de Blasio and former First Lady Clinton.
It’s not known how exactly how Mayor de Blasio’s political record in New York City could bolster former First Lady Clinton’s presidential campaigns amongst the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
In New York City, Mayor de Blasio is known for his unflinching support for a race-based and neoconservative approach to policing referred to as Broken Windows that flies in the face of demands for criminal justice system reform being advocated by the Black Lives Matter movement. Mayor de Blasio has come under fire for his neoliberal economic agenda of selling strategic public resources, like nonprofit hospitals, public libraries, parklands, and the playgrounds of public housing developments to real estate developers.
Mayor de Blasio was elected to City Hall in 2013 after he exploited the language of political reform and manipulated the anti-neoliberal primary voters in a post-Occupy New York City into supporting his campaign. Perhaps former First Lady Clinton thinks that Mayor de Blasio and his political consultants can help her similarly deceive Democratic Party primary voters again this year.
Though Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 electioneering misconduct was said to have been the subject of a probe of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, no criminal charges have ever been filed against Mayor de Blasio or his campaign officials. However, several lesser charges, fines, and penalties have been brought or assessed on the 2013 electioneering work of some of his closest political allies in the New York City Council, including Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Spanish Harlem), whom Mayor de Blasio personally installed as Council speaker, as well as officials, candidates, or lobbyists connected to a political enterprise structured as a Super PAC that funneled millions to defeat Mayor de Blasio’s chief political rival in the 2013 Democratic Party mayoral primary, former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.