It’s easy to take issue with Mayor de Blasio’s apparent interest in running for president. But it helps to have a valid critique.
Do you think Bill de Blasio can’t win?
Do you think he should focus on being mayor?
Or do you just think he’s got nothing to say?
As political consultant Rebecca Katz, founder of New Deal Strategies and a former adviser the mayor, told WBAI’s Max & Murphy Show on Wednesday, the first two critiques have merit. The latter? Not so much.
“He’s got the greatest job in the world. He’s mayor of New York City. He’s good at making policy happen and now that we have a Democratic Senate in Albany, let’s go. Now’s the time we can focus on good, big things in New York,” Katz said, suggesting that now’s a bad time for the mayor to engage in ambitious air travel.
At the same time, Katz continued, “I do think he’s not getting his fair shake when it comes to national stories. There’s so much mocking of him for the personality issues and you don’t get to see his record on display the way it should be.”
The mayor recently traveled to Iowa, and hinted loudly that he was considering a run. “I don’t know what’s going on. But in theory, he could look at other candidates and their records and look at his record and think, ‘Why not me?’ Basically, everybody’s jumping in. There are so many people who are thinking about running and I don’t see their path, but stranger things have happened. We don’t remember it now, but de Blasio is a pretty good politician when he wants to be. He knows how to work a room,” Katz said. “I think in New York, we see him having lost some of that because he’s been mayor for so long, but when he goes to Iowa, it’s a fresh start for him.”
De Blasio’s brand is bruised by his premature seeking of a national role after his election in 2013, and his maneuvers during the 2016 presidential election were widely mocked. Then and now, de Blasio’s policy compass has been trustier than his political instincts.
“I believe Bill de Blasio has 100 percent the right message,” Katz said. “I’m just not sure he’s the right messenger.”
Listen to our conversation with Katz below. Or check out the full show, in which we also break down the results from the special election for public advocate and speak to winner Jumaane Williams about his victory and next steps.
Rebecca Katz of New Deal Strategies on de Blasio and the Presidency
Max & Murphy: February 27, 2019