For me, David Dinkins is always about young people.
This may seem like a strange observation about a machine politician who became mayor at the age of 62, but looking inside his campaign in 1989, I can see what I mean. I will.
The birth of a bid for Dinkins’ Town Hall was at the death of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in New York – partially strangled by then-Mayor Edkoch.
The Jackson campaign was supported by an extensive assortment of liberal New Yorkers who were fed up with Ronald Reagan for eight years and wanted a serious change. Martin Luther King Jr.’s fiery disciple, Jackson, stood out in a pool of passionately moderate white candidates, including Michael Dukakis, Dick Geppert, Al Gore, and for some time Joe Biden.
In addition to supporting Al Gore in Primary, Koch launched an attack on Jackson, and at some point Jewish and Israeli supporters “must be crazy” to support Jackson. Said. Prior to Donald Trump’s time, such stories were acts of political warfare. And Jackson’s supporters set fire on the night of the New York primary, chanting “down with Koch” when Dukakis won the race in both Jackson and Goa.
The night of Jesse Jackson’s defeat at the Sheraton Hotel solidified the New York City coalition that launched Dinkins past Koch and Rudy Giuliani in November 1989. Ironically, the Dinkins victory party was also held at Sheraton in April 1988 in mourning at the hotel. Like Brooklyn Dodgers fans who finally saw the team win the World Series, supporters of Dinkins’ delight bounced off the wall. As I wrote in the university newspaper, I finished my dispatch with the sentence, “And the night was young for David Dinkins.”
Nights usually turn into daytime, but there wasn’t much sunlight during Dinkins’ four-year tenure. Running New York in an empty vault during the AIDS epidemic and the proliferation of cracked crime goes beyond most of SimCity’s nightmare scenarios. And Dinkins’ thoughtfully measured attitude was too often unsuitable for endangered cities.
Dinkins was the right person at the wrong time, the mayor who would have prospered at the helm of the city in more prosperous times. However, his political alliance, which was destroyed by Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for 20 years, was largely rebuilt by a former young staff member of his city hall, Bill de Blasio. And far beyond the current mayor, the city is leaning to the left by a new generation who didn’t really know Dinkins, but probably accepted his politics.
Dinkins may have lost in 1993, but he seems to be winning now. Even if David Dinkins is gone, the night is still young.
New York’s oldest political teenager
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