AP

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is no stranger to big talk about major progressive policy actions that end up going nowhere.

But when Politico got the chance to ask him about those failures for its “Off the Record” podcast, posted on Tuesday, the mayor brushed off criticism of his ability to follow through and instead compared himself to a trio of all-time greats: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Mahatma Gandhi.

According to Politico’s write-up (emphasis added):

De Blasio bristles when presented with this failure, arguing that it’s “banal and simplistic” to expect him to fail at taking his message national now. “I want to talk to anyone who thinks that and tell them they need to start thinking more. I mean, give me a break. So every time someone tries something and it doesn’t work, it invalidates anything else they might do going forward? Tell Thomas Edison that, and Henry Ford, tell Mahatma Gandhi. How many people fell on their faces along the way trying things, experimenting with things, had setbacks? There’s no leader who hasn’t had setbacks.”

But Politico noted that de Blasio, like any good progressive, “swiftly” corrected himself, saying he’s a “speck on the universe” compared to those three.

Advertisement

Then the mayor, who’s been mounting a transparent campaign to increase his national profile ahead of 2020 but insists he’s not running for president, quickly got back to his new favorite topic: dissing Hillary Clinton, even after emails showed de Blasio nearly begging the campaign to call him into active duty.

“I was telling [the Clinton campaign] they needed to have a clear progressive populist message, and they had to believe it. If they had, they would have won. I stand by it,” he said. “I was right!”

This is one of the many reasons why many members of the Democratic Party faithful roll their eyes when they see de Blasio coming: for every genuinely good, progressive idea he proposes, you can’t help but notice his eyes are fixed on his own political horizon.