Results of the first NBC/WSJ national poll of Americans who say they will vote in next year’s primary elections confirm that Democrats in all 50 states have learned what New Yorkers have known for quite awhile: Kirsten Gillibrand and Bill de Blasio are zeroes. They each failed to gain one percent support in the poll where Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris and Buttigieg registered 26%, 19%, 13%, 13% and 7% respectively.
Even Andrew Yang’s meme-centric “Yang Gang” campaign has gained more support than Kirsten and Bill together. Although that might reflect higher support in New Hampshire and Iowa, where Yang has promised to give $12,000 in 2019 to selected residents in order to demonstrate either the efficacy of his “Universal Basic Income” plan or that bread and circuses still work.
Another zero, Eric Swalwell, had the good sense to pick up his toys and begin the 2020 Congressional campaign – after a first debate performance with a single message – Biden (and implicitly Sanders and perhaps Warren) you’re too old. Biden’s sole clear and effective line that night was his response – it’s still my lawn. De Blasio’s signature moment in the debate was his class warfare rant:
“For all of the American Citizens out there who feel you are falling behind or feel the American dream is not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you. The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you.”
The former would include Amazon, the big corporation that paid a minimum of $15 per hour to all workers (including temps) before New York State (not city government) mandated it for city businesses with 11 or more employees. And it was de Blasio’s ineptness that drove Amazon from the New York City Borough of Queens, where it would have provided 25,000 jobs with an annual salary of $150,000.
De Blasio himself may well be a one percenter, if his $258K mayoral salary and $108K rental income is even modestly supplemented by any other income or contribution from spouse and co-mayor Chirlane McCray. Regardless, Bill’s income is at least 7x the national average voter he panders to. And his generosity to those voters less fortunate is legion. 2018 charitable contributions having tripled from $350 in 2017 to $1050 last year.
To earn her zero in the debates Gillibrand opened with her two signatures – hypocrisy and the assumption that her base either has forgotten or doesn’t care. She said:
“. . . if you’re talking about ending gun violence, it’s the greed of the NRA and the gun manufacturers that make any progress impossible.”
She was elected to Congress on a pledge to “protect gun rights,” once elected earned a 100 percent NRA rating and voted for a bill to limit information sharing among federal agencies about firearms purchases. (She also opposed drivers licenses for the undocumented and to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities.”)
Hypocrisy is ubiquitous in Gillibrand’s career. The thousand-word picture juxtaposes a photo of Gillibrand caressed by Bill Clinton (who she leaned on heavily in both her House and Senate campaigns) with Kirsten’s leading role in the destruction of Al Franken’s Senate career.
Well done Kirsten and Bill and well-done voters for seeing through these two zeroes.