Out of over 30 of Bill de Blasio’s own aides, just two believe he should make a run for the Oval Office.
“I believe Bill de Blasio has 100 percent the right message; I’m just not so sure he’s the right messenger,” said City Hall adviser Rebecca Katz, who also worked in his campaign. An individual claiming to be a “friend” called the notion “idiotic,” and an aide, laughing, said that a presidential bid in 2020 would be “f*cking insane.”
Despite the overt skepticism from within his own camp, de Blasio seems unfazed. In a Politico interview, he told Gracie Mansion:
I really appreciate everyone’s views, but I don’t know they can see things the way Chirlane and I see them, in terms of what we need to do with our lives, what we feel is the right thing to do, but also how we analyze the political circumstance — because it’s been kind of a life’s work for both of us.
“I assure you I had a lot of folks who were friends and allies warmly put their arm around my shoulder and tell me what a crazy idea it was to run for Public Advocate, what a crazy idea it was to run for mayor,” he continued, brushing aside the criticisms.
And while de Blasio claims the only adviser he needs is his wife, Chirlane McCray, she may not be quite so confident. McCray told Politico’s Women Rule podcast that “the timing is not exactly right.” Later, she elaborated, saying that it “is a very big undertaking. He has a big, demanding job, and I see closer than anyone the time and the work it takes to run this city.”
Even so, de Blasio seems to be preparing for candidacy. According to Politico’s reporting, 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign alum and Senate campaign veteran Jon Paul Lupo are working on the possible de Blasio campaign in their spare time. Friends Peter Ragone and Jim Crounse are advising.
And he seems to have confidence in himself, if nothing else. “I’m certainly worthy of critique like everyone. There’s things I did better and things I did worse,” he said. “But if you say, ‘OK, have I proven the ability to run an extraordinarily complex organization and get real results? Yes.’ And that should mean something.”