Here’s everything I know about this guy:
1. He used to be a cop before entering politics.
2. He campaigned on reducing crime in New York, especially gun violence.
3. He spent the last week of the campaign race-baiting his opponents to within an inch of their political lives.
So, a mixed bag.
This is quite a soundbite, though. Adams can be personally abrasive, boasting here that he’s the new face of his party when he took 31 percent of the vote in the primary and might yet lose when all the votes are counted (although it’s unlikely). But he also seems to have a shrewd sense of what voters actually care about and palpably doesn’t give a rip if that contradicts progressive orthodoxy. That’s his advice to Democrats nationally: Stop caring so much what “fancy” progressive candidates like Maya Wiley, AOC’s pick, think and start caring about what blue-collar voters think. Blue-collar voters don’t want to defund the police.
The primary race for mayor has not been called yet, but @ericadamsfornyc comfortably in the lead already has a message for Democrats across the country. Politics is a full contact sport and Adams appears ready to hit: https://t.co/UlLnQWvMvU pic.twitter.com/YHw1cbf9rI
— Gloria Pazmino (@GloriaPazmino) June 24, 2021
It’s not shown in the clip but he also said he was pleased to see Biden encouraging cities yesterday to use COVID relief funds to pay for extra policing to fight crime:
“First of all, kudos to President Biden for hearing my voice, hearing what I have been saying,” Adams said.
“Public safety must be intervention and prevention. Everyone was talking about prevention. No one was dealing with intervention.”
The latter remarks appeared aimed squarely at rival Maya Wiley, who came in second on Tuesday after running on a platform that included a pledge to defund the NYPD by $1 billion and shift the money to schools for “trauma-informed care.”
A particularly biting line: “We have allowed a group to hijack the term progressive… So what I’m saying to the Democratic Party — stop believing a numerical minority is what the numerical majority is.” It’s jarring to see a Democrat run in an overwhelmingly Democratic city in 2021 on the idea that progressive strength is grossly overstated but damned if Eric Adams didn’t do it and (probably) win. The fact that it happens to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s home city is icing on the cake.
He won big in her district, by the way.
Root for him to succeed in reducing crime when he takes office next year, not just for New York’s sake but because if he proves to be a popular mayor it really is destined to influence national Democratic opinion on the direction of the party. And judging from today’s soundbite, he’ll be eager to make the case personally that it should. Not that he needs to, necessarily: It’s already clear enough from the last election that progressive radicalism on police issues especially ended up costing the party votes, particularly votes among black and Latinos.
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