Bill de Blasio, the insurgent and defiantly progressive New York City mayoral candidate, did not hold his Tuesday night victory party in one of those faux-ornate midtown Manhattan hotel ballrooms, the usual power venue for such festivities.
Instead, he gathered his overjoyed supporters — fellow members of a “movement,” de Blasio insisted — in the hip but unswanky Bell House on Brooklyn’s Seventh Street to celebrate the victory of “an unapologetically progressive alternative to the Bloomberg Era.”
That would be Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose name was not on the ballot in the primaries here this week but whose 12 years in office are now the political Rorschach test of New York City politics.
More broadly, de Blasio — whose victory was so large that he may well avoid a runoff by tipping above 40 percent of the vote in a nine-candidate field — spoke to a deep discontent fueled by a battered economy whose recovery has not lifted all boats equally. It was a major triumph for progressives but also a warning to Democrats and President Obama: We are still a distance from the happy country where shared, long-term growth is assumed and where most people expect their lives to improve.