Mayor Bill de Blasio rounds the corner of a Gracie Mansion porch wearing a broad smile. It's a Friday afternoon in late August, and he's had a good week. Three days ago, he announced rising test scores for the city's third- through eighth-graders. Two days ago, he dominated his main Democratic-primary challenger, Sal Albanese, in the first of two debates. A newly released report shows city unemployment dropping to record lows, and polls predict de Blasio should cruise to a reelection victory in November. This being New York, however, problems and criticisms keep step with the good news. He is locked in his latest battle with Governor Andrew Cuomo, this time over how to fix the crumbling subway system. Two investigations failed to find any indictable offenses connected to de Blasio's fund-raising operation but left the impression that money bought access to the mayor. Despite his first-term successes, de Blasio's public-approval rating remains an ambivalent 50 percent . Homeless shelters are at capacity. As he folds his six-foot-six-inch frame into an armchair angled toward the East River, the mayor is eager to tout his first-term record — but also bristling at his antagonists and freshly determined to push his progressive… Read full this story
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