New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he is destined for greatness—so much so that he is comparing himself to Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Mahatma Gandhi.
De Blasio compared himself to these great innovators and peace-brokers while touting his progressive agenda and his wish to take his policies beyond New York City on Politico’s “Off Message” podcast Tuesday.
Democratic insiders, however, bristle at the thought of de Blasio running for nationwide office or taking the national stage, saying that he is full of himself and does not command respect from his colleagues.
“It’s laughable to think that the response to Trump is going to come from a progressive mayor whom progressives don’t rally around and mayors don’t respect,” said one high-placed Democratic operative.
The New York City mayor fired back at his critics, saying that it is “banal and simplistic” for his critics to expect him to fail at taking his progressive ideas nationwide.
“So every time someone tries something and it doesn’t work, it invalidates anything else they might do going forward? Tell Thomas Edison that, and Henry Ford, tell Mahatma Gandhi. How many people fell on their faces along the way trying things, experimenting with things, had setbacks? There’s no leader who hasn’t had setbacks,” de Blasio said.
He added that “the political media and political class” only think about things in the context of elections, saying that the change he wants to bring about is done outside “the electoral process.”
The New York City mayor has turned his attention away from New York City issues to focus on furthering the progressive cause around the globe in recent months.
NYPD officers were infuriated with de Blasio after he left New York City the day after a cop got shot to attend protests of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July.
More recently, de Blasio traveled to Iowa to tout his “progressive populism” even though the New York City mayor insists he is not running for president in 2020.