NEW YORK — At six feet, five inches, former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lumbering height is an apt embodiment of his status as a political lightning rod.
After a decade and a half as a school board member, city councilman and citywide public advocate, de Blasio landed a come-from-behind victory in New York City’s 2013 mayoral race. The first Democrat to lead the Big Apple in two decades, he promised to narrow the city’s yawning income gap and curb police abuses that threaten his own biracial children.
At the end of eight years in office, de Blasio had notable accomplishments, chief among them the establishment of universal preschool for the city’s 3- and 4-year-olds.
But he leaves behind a legacy plagued by mutual enmity with the press, public frustration with his managerial skills, and fierce debate over his brand of liberal policymaking. Centrist and conservative re...