"True, de Blasio has some unique selling points in this campaign. He is by definition an 'outer-borough ethnic,' which blunts the easy anti-'elitist' attacks on liberals found regularly in the pages of billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post and billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman’s Daily News. Having a wife who is African-American and a former lesbian activist and a son with a gravity-challenging Afro puts a massive kibosh on the kind of identity-politics demands that have too often doomed Democratic candidates with broad electoral appeal. De Blasio is, according to the most recent polls, winning with blacks and women, despite the presence of both in the race (I don’t know about lesbians). Moreover, he has succeeded in uniting these constituencies through an inclusive class-based appeal, one that is bolstered by the fact of his being the only serious contender in the race whose kids attend our public schools. Together with his hardline opposition to Bloomberg’s illegal stop-and-frisk obsession, de Blasio has credibly positioned himself as the voice of those who, in Bloomberg’s New York, had been silently shunted off to the sidelines."
In The Nation, Eric Alterman discusses the rise of Bill de Blasio.