New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has abandoned hopes for the Oval Office and called it quits on his 2020 presidential campaign, which consistently failed to crack one percent in the polls and was plagued by a torrent of gaffes.
“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” de Blasio told the hosts of Morning Joe on Friday. “So I’m going to end my presidential campaign.”
The Democratic candidate’s shelf life had been nearing expiration for some time, having failed to qualify for the third round of presidential debates and showing anemic, rock-bottom performance in the primary polls.
President Donald Trump, who de Blasio has slammed as a “bully” and referred to as a “con man” throughout the 2020 race, responded to the news gleefully, mocking the “Part time Mayor” as he was coming home, while “NYC is devastated.”
Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years! Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race. NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2019
Donald Trump is not the only New Yorker to balk at the mayor’s candidacy – over 75 percent of respondents in one poll told him not to run – which has consumed much of his energies and left little time to fulfill mayoral duties. De Blasio spent only seven hours at City Hall in the first month of his campaign, according to the New York Post. In July, when some 73,000 New Yorkers were hit with a power outage, de Blasio was nowhere to be found, 1,000 miles away on the campaign trail. Noticing his absence, some New Yorkers began referring to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who took charge during the blackout, as the de-facto mayor.
Outside Gracie Mansion just now, woman runs by and shouts, “Don’t do it, Bill!”
Me: “He’s doing it”
Jogger: “I can’t believe it. Nobody wants it.”
— Grace Rauh (@gracerauh) May 15, 2019
While the favorability rating for most presidential candidates corresponds to their name recognition, de Blasio managed to buck that trend. Despite being well known around the country, the progressive mayor is widely disliked, including – if not especially – within his own party.
Even de Blasio’s friends and allies were off-put by his long-shot presidential bid, one former aide telling Politico the idea was “f**king insane,” while another self-avowed friend dubbed it “idiotic.” The mayor’s own wife told reporters earlier this year that the timing was “not exactly right” for a campaign, but launch a campaign to become president of the USA de Blasio did.
The mayor largely stumbled down the campaign trail since announcing his bid in May, racking up a number of gaffes. A reformed New Left radical, de Blasio quoted a catch-phrase of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara to a heavily Cuban audience in Miami, some of whom became refugees following the socialist uprising in that country. Democratic Florida state Senator Annette Taddeo said she was “utterly disgusted” by the line and told de Blasio to “delete” his campaign.
The mayor suffered another embarrassing moment during the second Democratic debate when he was shouted down by protesters demanding the termination of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner, a police suspect who had been held in a chokehold, drowning out a sheepish de Blasio with cries of “fire Pantaleo!”
As a once-crowded Democratic field narrows, a showdown crystallizes between the party’s “woke” and establishment wings, largely represented by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders at one end, and former Vice President Joe Biden on the other. Failing to distinguish himself as a champion of either camp, or as a unique ‘third option’ akin to candidates Andrew Yang or Marianne Williamson, de Blasio’s candidacy was simply out of place and, perhaps, doomed from the start.
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