By Colin Reed
Published March 11, 2019
In the latest case of the left’s misplaced priorities, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the workweek touting “meatless Mondays” mandating vegetarian diets at public schools. Meanwhile, economists were sounding the alarm that the finances of the city de Blasio is supposed to be running were getting carved up.
De Blasio has no problem lecturing kids at New York’s public schools about “cutting back on meat” to save the environment. But he’s shown less interest giving up the fleet of SUVs that bring him to and from the gym. Or reducing the pork in his stewardship of the taxpayers’ finances. According to the New York Post, city spending has increased 32 percent in the de Blasio years, with an estimated $3 billion more expected in Hizzoner’s latest budget.
The mayor has grown fond of saying, “There is plenty of money in this world. It’s just in the wrong hands” as a means of justifying his expansion of government into every aspect of life. No word if he counts he and his wife in the “wrong hands” camp after a recent media report suggesting the duo has squandered more than a billion dollars of unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars.
What else could be driving de Blasio’s war on meat? It’s one way to try and reclaim the mantle of most progressive New York pol. De Blasio has been outwitted and outflanked by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The freshman phenom from Queens didn’t let her status as a newcomer deter her from defeating the Amazon deal backed by de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who suffered a stinging political defeat.
De Blasio isn’t taking the hint that voters just aren’t that into him.
If neither his diminished fanfare nor his abysmal record is enough to convince de Blasio to abandon White House ambitions, the polls should. His early campaign visits to Iowa aren’t moving the needle one iota, with a new poll from the vaunted Des Moines Register putting him at zero percent – tied for dead last. Nationally, the picture is even worse. A Monmouth University survey showed Hizzoner as the only Democrat in the packed field with a net negative rating – an impressive feat.
But de Blasio isn’t taking the hint that voters just aren’t that into him. He’s on the campaign trail, taking shots at his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, who was eyeing a 2020 bid before (correctly) concluding there was no path for a centrist in today’s hard left Democratic nominating process.
Never content to take the high road, de Blasio sniped at Bloomberg’s progressive credentials, adding he had “no chance” to capture the nomination. Call it a case of envy because whether you agree with him or not, Bloomberg accomplished far more on issues near and dear to the left than de Blasio ever will, both in and out of politics. On guns, climate change, immigration, Bloomberg outpaced de Blasio at every turn. Ditto with his overall leadership of the city.
Even those who know him best think de Blasio’s White House ambitions are nonsensical. Politico quoted a friend calling the idea “idiotic” in a brutal story with a headline not fit for a family publication.
Still, with his titanic ego and facing term limits as mayor, de Blasio may very well press forward. He long ago lost interest in his day job. Either way, he will end up in the same place: political oblivion. In the meantime, plenty of time and taxpayer money to waste on stunts like Meatless Mondays.