Bill de Blasio today is launching his first TV ad in his race for mayor – and it's a family affair.
With his enormous afro, 15-year-old Dante de Blasio proudly talks up his father's platform in the 30-second spot. Perhaps only in New York can a candidate get away with running an ad where his plans to raise taxes on the rich are a point of pride. But far more importantly, Dante and his afro are de Blasio's way of making a not-so-subtle point to voters: "Hey, this guy's wife and kids are black!"
With Dante talking about his father's opposition to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic "that unfairly targets people of color", de Blasio is making a bid for African-American and liberal white voters. It's his plan to recreate the "gorgeous mosaic" that took David Dinkins to City Hall, where both de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane, worked and met.
Because there is a black candidate in the race, Bill Thompson, it seems highly unlikely that de Blasio will get the most African-American votes in the first round of the primary. But de Blasio is hoping to gather more African-American and Hispanic support than Christine Quinn -- in the event that they square off in an Oct. 1 runoff.
Tacking hard to the left is rarely a bad idea in a Democratic primary in New York City, where Barack Obama last year got 81 percent of the vote. If the other candidates start getting nervous about Team Dante, we'll likely see their families – and some attacks against de Blasio – start coming out on the campaign trail.
Note: I'm off tomorrow and back Monday -- in time for our live debate between Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer for City Comptroller.