As the runoff election to determine who will be the next mayor of Chicago grows near, New York Magazine has proclaimed that challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is the Windy City’s Bill de Blasio.
Calling Garcia’s candidacy an “irresistible parallel,” New York went on to note the similarities between Chuy’s campaign and that of left-wing New York Mayor de Blasio.
“Amiable insurgent progressive mayoral candidate in major city rises by decrying a tale of two cities,” NY Mag writer Chris Smith began, “and attacking the big-money incumbent as an agent of the one percent while welding a coalition of liberal whites and marginalized minorities. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, Chicago ’15, is Bill de Blasio, New York ’13!”
Garcia became the toast of the Chicago teachers union early in the race after the liberal union’s handpicked candidate, union president Karen Lewis, bowed out of the race because of a brain tumor. On the other hand, de Blasio was not the teachers’ favorite candidate in New York.
Smith also points out that Garcia has been the lucky recipient of the anti-Rahm Emanuel vote. During this, his first term, former Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel has angered many of the city’s constituents. With his tax property tax hikes, his unpopular closing of schools, and his jet-setting around the country with big dollar donors, Emanuel found himself in the surprising position of being forced into a run-off election, the first in the city’s history.
After Emanuel couldn’t get to 50 percent plus in last month’s general election, Garcia racked up a series of high profile endorsements, including from Operation Push chief Jesse Jackson and a large contingent of the city’s black ministers.
Garcia has been the ultimate populist replete with a serious lack of specifics, especially with his budgetary ideas. But despite that, Garcia, like de Blasio, has tapped into a deep well of anger, especially with liberal constituents.
“Garcia has clearly tapped into some 99 percenter anger,” Smith wrote, “and centrist Democratic candidates — up to and including Hillary Clinton — need to confront those issues more directly.”
Smith’s warning to Hillary echoes a piece in the New York Daily News warning Hillary that if Rahm loses his bid for re-election, it could be seen as a strike against insider Democrats and an avenue for a populist left-winger like Elizabeth Warren to undercut Clinton’s purported “inevitability.”
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