Sliding in popularity and heading for a re-election fight, New York’s mayor digs in against the tycoon based right in the middle of his city.
NEW YORK—Bill de Blasio, the 6-5 mayor of the nation’s largest city, slipped in almost unnoticed through a side door in the small community center in Chelsea, where a full-throated anti-Donald Trump resistance meeting was already underway.
Ten days earlier, Trump had been elected the next president of the United States, and New York City, which voted overwhelmingly against him, was still reeling. But anger was starting to find outlets, and one of them was here, where hundreds gathered for a hastily thrown together meeting billed as “Rise Together: The American Majority Against Trump.”
De Blasio’s three years in office so far have been marred by a series of disappointments, missteps, and seeming deafness to the politics of the moment—a track record that had put the mayor at risk of being taken down by his own party in next year’s primary. But since the election, a life raft has suddenly appeared: Trump.
As the president-elect sits in his midtown Trump Tower office, assembling an administration overtly hostile to the kind of progressive politics New Yorkers embrace, de Blasio has found a calling. In front of crowds, he can often fail to connect, coming off as the goofy dad or the scolding headmaster who hasn’t yet quite grown into the office. Here, in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, he leaned straight in. “This is how we fight back!” the mayor shouted. Fists were raised.
Want to take away a woman’s right to choose, Mr. Trump?, the mayor asked the crowd.
Want to overturn marriage equality?
“There will be a national political uprising!”
At a moment when so much fear pervaded the city that comparisons to 9/11 were becoming routine, the mayor of New York sounded the note that so many wanted to hear: We protect our own. “If you are a Latino, New York City stands with you! If you are a Muslim, if you are LGBT, if you are an immigrant, we will never stop being New Yorkers! THAT is how we fight back!”