Are Politicians From Interracial Families Poised to Lead?

Bill de Blasio is primed to become New York City's next mayor because the Democratic candidate's interracial family represents and cultivates social change, Ben Ryder Howe writes at the New York Observer.

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Bill de Blasio and his family (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Bill de Blasio is primed to become New York City's next mayor because the Democratic candidate's interracial family represents and cultivates social change, Ben Ryder Howe writes at the New York Observer.

I had to laugh when I read recently that Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, is leading the polls, because voters supposedly like his interracial family. It reminded me that, years ago, my wife tried to convince me to run for elected office.

"You’d be a great politician," she argued at the time. "Why not give it a try?" ...

I am a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant man from an ordinary middle-class suburb -- superficially, a zero on the excitement scale, with the kind of socioeconomic profile commonly associated with hot trends like pipe smoking and Pilgrim hats. My wife, however, is a Korean immigrant ...

Does marrying someone of a different background make one better qualified to be a leader? I’ve been thinking, and the answer undoubtedly is yes ...

In a funny way, it’s the homeliness of Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray -- middle-aged parents defined by their children, eye bags and lack of multiple vacation homes -- that make them appealing to New Yorkers after years being governed by a decidedly otherworldly group -- not just the mayor but his entire jet-setting cohort. And I suspect the de Blasios know this all too well -- interracial couples are never unaware of how they’re perceived -- which equips them to be successful politicians indeed.

Read Ben Ryder Howe's entire piece at the New York Observer.

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