Bill de Blasio's victory in the Democratic primary to be New York City's public advocate is a knock at the door of another racial hurdle. De Blasio’s wife is black, and his children interracial, a fact made clear in campaign ads and mailings. "For so long in American history, interracial couples went out of their way to keep their relationships out of the public eye that it’s remarkable to see them used in a campaign like this," one historian tells Politico. She sees it as a "post-Obama phenomenon."
Interracial marriage apparently remains a stigma in other parts of the country—look back to Harold Ford's Senate loss in Tennessee—and de Blasio came up against some opposition even in New York. A black councilman called his campaign materials an “insult to the black community,” and his opposition hoped voters would find the tactic “crass.” No dice: The calculation paid off. Except it’s not all calculation, de Blasio says. “This is literally who I am.”