As the New York Times wrote in its lead story in Wednesday’s paper, de Blasio’s election will turn New York into a “closely watched laboratory for populist theories of government that have never before been enacted on such a large scale.”

De Blasio has become a beacon to those in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, who have often been disappointed by or disillusioned with President Obama and what he has done and not done in office. The progressives see few political leaders on the left — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is one exception — willing to give voice to their agenda. All that would be enough to lend significance to Wednesday’s swearing-in. But it was the added presence of the former president and former secretary of state that gave it significance beyond the city’s boundaries. …

But on this day, Clinton, as always, was thinking about tomorrow. He wanted no one listening to conclude that he was there to split the difference between the outgoing and incoming mayors, to offer praise in equal amounts.

And so, after his generous words for Bloomberg, he said, “I have to say this. I strongly endorse Bill de Blasio’s core campaign commitment that we have to have a city of shared opportunity, shared prosperity, shared responsibilities.”