I was born in 1977, and have been in Brooklyn since. For 32 of those years, the mayor has been to the right of the city’s political center, owing to one exceptional circumstance or another.
In place of city Democratic regulars, Rep. Ed Koch won office when New York teetered near bankruptcy; prosecutor Rudy Giuliani did so after David Dinkins’ one term was undone by the city’s precarious finances and his own shaky leadership; and businessman Mike Bloomberg’s private fortune along with Rudy’s suddenly invaluable endorsement were just enough to get him into City Hall weeks after 9/11.
Come January, we will have a liberal mayor presiding over a reasonably healthy city for the first time in my life. How he does will either put an end to, or revive, the hoary narrative of the heroic outsider we need to save New York from itself.