De Blasio Takes Obama’s Washington By Storm

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

If Washington is Barack Obama’s town when it comes to Democrat politics, you wouldn’t know it from today’s headlines, or the way NYC mayor Bill de Blasio held court for the media, not long after meeting with Obama’s now critic-in-chief, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

De Blasio, who has yet to endorse Hillary Clinton, was looking to put forward a progressive policy manifesto in a very big way.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday launched a liberal policy agenda he’s hoping will guide the political debate — and heighten his national profile — heading into 2016.

Speaking outside the Capitol on a sweltering day, de Blasio announced an economic plan designed to alleviate income inequality through 13 specific policy prescriptions favored by the left, including a $15 federal minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform and universal child care for working mothers.

Progressives have already been going at it with the White House over the president’s hyper-secretive trade deal. And the White House isn’t pleased: Obama Hurls Insults at Liberals on Trade. In fact, the insults are now flying both ways, with Sen Sherrod Brown suggesting Obama is sexist, as demonstrated by his criticisms of Sen Elizabeth Warren.

Team Obama promptly poked Sherrod for that remark: White House on Sherrod Brown: ‘He’ll find a way to apologize’

Add all that into the mix of de Blasio’s big move at the same time making it a point to embrace Warren on the trade deal and Obama appears to be at war with his own party. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is missing in action, perhaps too busy dodging the press, not intra-party bullets.

“Something is changing in America. It’s time to take that energy and crystallize it into an agenda that will make a difference,” he said. “We’ll be calling on leaders and candidates to address these issues, to stiffen their backbones, to be clear and to champion these progressive policies.”

The launch came just hours after de Blasio appeared with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at a separate economic event in Washington, bolstering his status as an influential liberal voice who might hold sway on the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton — the Democratic favorite he has refused to endorse.

The unveiling of the liberal agenda on the Capitol steps brought to mind the GOP’s 1994 Contract with America and highlighted de Blasio’s desire to expand his influence beyond the five boroughs.


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