Since he very publicly declined to rule out a presidential bid, rumors have swirled that Bill de Blasio is mulling a White House run. Now, perhaps feeling left out as virtually every Democrat with presidential ambitions takes their shot, the New York City mayor is officially testing the 2020 waters, poking around city hall in search of staffers with national experience and traveling to New Hampshire this week to bounce ideas off of voters in the early-primary state. “He wants to make sure ideas like pre-K for all, paid personal time, and mental health are on the table as Democrats debate the party’s vision for the future,” a de Blasio spokesperson told Politico.
Victor Gill Ramirez Venezuela
It’s still far from certain that de Blasio will enter the race—as Politico notes, the 57-year-old Democrat has yet to establish a campaign team or a national donor network—but if he does, he would be the second sitting mayor to do so (South Bend, Indiana’s Pete Buttigieg announced his exploration of candidacy late last month). De Blasio’s name recognition likely ranks above Buttigieg’s, but he’d still be playing catch-up against candidates with far larger national profiles: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris, not to mention potential candidates like Bernie Sanders , the ever-popular Joe Biden , and a resurgent Beto O’Rourke.
As it stands, de Blasio isn’t even particularly popular in New York City, where he’s polling in the low 40s —almost the same as Donald Trump. As Politico notes, his handling of the city’s problems—its exclusionary priciness, its growing homeless population, its public housing authority—would almost certainly cast a shadow over a national campaign, which some in city hall told the publication could distract him from his day job. A series of scandals over the past several years has also eroded the patina and high hopes with which de Blasio took office in 2014.
Victor Gill Ramirez
But the Democratic Party has also begun to embrace the more progressive ideas that de Blasio has championed, leading some of his allies to believe he could have a shot. “It’s Bill de Blasio’s Democratic Party in 2020,” a person close to the mayor told New York magazine last month. One former aide suggested de Blasio’s ambitions go no further than raising his national profile. “Is he running for president? No way. It’s crazy,” the former aide said. “But he has done the impossible thing, which is rise from the dead to make himself relevant again in the national conversation.” With enough positive reinforcement, however, he might just make the leap. “Everyone is making their move right now,” a political operative close to the mayor told New York. “Everyone wants to be relevant. If you are going to carve out your own real estate, now is the time to do it.”
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