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 WarrenOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans The Trail 2016: When a pivot isn’t always a pivot Overnight Tech: Facebook's changes worry publishers | First stage of spectrum auction ends | Clinton recruits from Silicon Valley 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 ClintonTrump: 'I’m just flabbergasted’ by Clinton-Lynch meet AFL-CIO head: Trump’s ‘a fraud’ Sanders skirts Biden's claim that he'll endorse Clinton 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.