As I suggested in my last column, there is a resurgent progressive populism in America, and the latest example is the election of Bill de Blasio as the man who will be the FDR mayor of New York.
If President Obama blew it by abandoning true progressive populism, as I wrote in my column, de Blasio gets it, and is it, along with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren questions Puerto Rico board's meeting on Wall Street Overnight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (D-Mass.).
It will be a model for progressive policy. It will be an experiment in progressive government. It will be a standard for progressive experimentation and execution in the same way Roosevelt created a New Deal for America that not only survives today but also includes many brilliantly successful and popular policies, such as Social Security.
Don't get carried away analyzing the presence of Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGingrich: 'No excuse ever' for 3 a.m. tweeting War over the estate tax returns Onlooker repeatedly yells ‘Bill Clinton is a rapist’ live on Fox News MORE at the de Blasio inauguration. Starting this week, it is de Blasio who is the big show, not the Clintons. The policies de Blasio implements and the degree they succeed will become nationally important as they succeed.
If Hillary runs for president in 2016, she will have her moment; but for today, the moment belongs to de Blasio, and the real action will be at City Hall in New York.
There is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, as the discredited and unpopular Tea Party is under attack by the Republican establishment and the conventional business community. There is also a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, as Warren and de Blasio set the standard for progressive leadership that will have more impact in national politics than analysts expect.
Progressive populists today have three heroes. They are Warren, de Blasio, and Pope Francis on matters of creating a just economics that serve what Occupy Wall Street brilliantly labeled the 99 percent.
My hope is that Clinton will ultimately carry this banner in 2016. But if she does not, someone else will, and whoever carries this banner may well be inaugurated as America's next president in January 2017.