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Politics

America's Mayor? Bill de Blasio's 'Confrontational Energy' In Debate Draws Nationwide Attention

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at Wednesday's presidential debate in Miami. Photo Credit: Twitter
Team de Blasio tweets its support to the New York City mayor after Wednesday night's Democratic Party presidential debate. Photo Credit: Twitter

While Mayor Bill de Blasio came across as a pushy New Yorker to some presidential debate-watchers on Wednesday night, other national media observers were wowed by the Democrat.

According to this article in the Miami Herald -- where back-to-back debates are taking place -- de Blasio "brought a surprisingly confrontational energy to the crowded debate stage."

Meanwhile, a senior correspondent for Slate noted in this column that the mayor entered the first debate "riding almost impossibly low expectations. And, if you listened to some of the postgame analysis on MSNBC, you’d think he failed to rise above them."

However, in between some testy exchanges, de Blasio managed to cite major successes of his mayoral tenure as proof he delivers on campaign promises: $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave and universal pre-kindergarten.

“These things really matter,” de Blasio said. “These are the things I did in New York and want to do for this whole country. We can put working people first, again, in America.”

According to Slate, the mayor's first good moment came during a discussion of immigration, when he said: "For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind, who feel the American dream is not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you," he said. "The big corporations did that to you. The 1 percent did that to you." 

Slate reported that de Blasio enjoyed another striking moment while nominally talking about guns when he went personal: "I also want to say there is something that sets me apart from all of my colleagues running in this race," de Blasio said. "And that is for the last 21 years I have been raising a black son in America. 

"And I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son Dante about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over our country."

And de Blasio scored more points, according to Slate and other media outlets, when he scolded Congress for allowing past presidents to declare war without their prior approval -- and then described the personal demons his father suffered after Army service during World War II in the Battle of Okinawa.

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