Bill De Blasio Sworn In As New York City Mayor

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty


Bill de Blasio has absolutely no chance of becoming the next president.

For starters, barring some political catastrophe, there’s no chance in hell Hillary Clinton is going to allow anyone else to defeat her for a second time around. You will literally have to pry the nomination from former President Bill Clinton’s cold dead hands before that happens — and then wrestle it away from HRC herself, who could probably take out a UFC fighter. That is a compliment. Trust me.

Then there is de Blasio himself, who may be the mayor of the “world’s capital,” but is still a relatively unknown political figure. And as New York mayor, de Blasio has been criticized for not being the big progressive agent of change his campaign likened him to be. Yes, that sounds familiar. Even so, de Blasio just unveiled new plans for his “One New York Plan,” which would fight poverty, promote cleaner air, and modernize mass transit. It’s the very sort of vision that should be implemented across the country — and that alone is why de Blasio’s potential entrée into the Democratic presidential primary may not be such a bad idea.

Earlier this month, when asked by Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd if he was ready to endorse Clinton, de Blasio said “no,” explaining, “It’s time to see a clear, bold vision for progressive economic change … clearly what’s happening in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is a demand for our candidates to come forward with a vision.”

That is why despite all of Clinton’s stardom and the machine behind her, there is a draft Senator Elizabeth Warren movement that remains, though Warren herself would rather these people shut up and mind their business. As a result of her ambivalence, de Blasio is considering becoming that progressive symbol of the campaign.

As reported by the New York Post, a “national party operative” says, “With [Elizabeth] Warren saying she’s not running, de Blasio and his advisers are trying to position the mayor as the ‘draft’ candidate for the left in 2016. That’s why he refused to endorse Hillary last week.” Moreover, de Blasio is looking at 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern as a model. McGovern lost in a landslide and if you have to position yourself as someone asking to be asked to run for president, chances are you’re never going to get asked.

De Blasio has lofty goals for the city of New York. He wants to lift people out of poverty, creating new jobs and lifting the minimum wage. He seeks to make NYC a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly city. He wants to expand his pre-kindergarten initiative to children as young as three-years-old. He would like to add on to the subway service, given more and more people are piling onto those cramped, dusty trains.

This sounds all well and good and hopefully, are goals Democrats nationwide seize upon. Yet, does de Blasio need to enter the Democratic primary to make that happen? Not really, and honestly, while I do understand the desire to offer a Clinton alternative in the Democratic primary, I have a hard time believing that will make her a “stronger candidate.”

And even if I’m wrong on that, should there be such a candidate who can really give Hillary a run for her money, it’s likely Elizabeth Warren — and as of now she’s not very interested. HRC seems to have already adopted some of the populist policies in her rhetoric as of late, but in terms of pushing progressive policy, the focus in 2016 needs to be state legislators and Congress.

When asked again about running for president during a Wednesday afternoon press conference, de Blasio said he would not be entering the race. He said, “I’ve really said ‘no’ a lot. I’m going to say no again. I am running for re-election as the mayor of New York City in 2017.” He could be playing coy, but for his sake, I hope not.

De Blasio can make his points about progressive politics on a local level, though as of now, he still would have to practice what he preaches before attempting to teach HRC anything about it. That said, I’ll probably end up writing in Waka Flocka Flame no matter who’s in the primary.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.

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