As part of a tour for his new book, Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident, former Weather Underground activist and one-time friend of Barack Obama talked to New York Magazine.
When the subject of big city mayors came up, Ayers proved to be no fan of our current mayor, Rahm Emanuel:
We’re Chicagoans, so we’re horrified that Rahm Emanuel, who is so grotesquely unpopular and such a terrible, terrible mayor, has already raised $5 million. He’s got the money, the media, and the access to power.
On the other hand, Ayers had kind words for the frontrunner in New York’s upcoming mayoral contest, Bill de Blasio. Speaking of de Blasio’s time spent as a young man in Nicarauga, Ayers said:
They should say that he stood up for humanity. He stood up for human rights against the blind imperial monster. That was the right thing to do then and it’s the right thing to do now.
There’s been some talk lately that maybe de Blasio, who has referred to himself in the past as a “democratic socialist”, could be the vanguard of a new progressive resurgence in American politics that could spill over into other, big city mayoral races.
If so, maybe Ayers could prove to be more prescient than he thought.