He’s already “distinguished” himself in more ways than we would have time to list here today. He managed to get almost the entire NYPD police force to turn their backs on him at the funeral for a slain officer. Groundhogs tremble at his approach. He oversaw the largest exodus from his city in living memory. And now New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would like to be the next governor of the state. Or at least that’s what’s being reported in the New York Post this week. He filed the paperwork required to create a candidate committee with the state Board of Elections, so he must be at least thinking about it seriously, despite the noncommital answers he’s giving to reporters who have asked him about it. But it’s hard to imagine that he’s really this tone-deaf.
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to run for governor of New York in 2022, two sources with knowledge of the matter told The Post on Monday.
The sources said it was unclear when the mayor, who is winding down his last two months as leader of the Big Apple, would make an announcement.
Speculation over a potential de Blasio gubernatorial bid ramped up last week after Politico New York reported that he had finalized forms for the creation of a candidate committee with the state Board of Elections.
The Mayor’s approval ratings in his own city are nothing to write home about. They began to tank significantly during his failed presidential bid last year and he’s still underwater on a number of issues, including his handling of the pandemic response. He’s managed to somehow maintain the support of his hard-left base, particularly among the Defund the Police crowd, but they are hardly anything close to a majority anymore. But he somehow believes he can carry a statewide race, or so it appears.
Why are his numbers in the Big Apple important? To be elected Governor in New York State, a Democrat has to basically run the board in the city. For those not familiar with the geography and demographics involved, keep in mind that while New York City only accounts for less than one-half of one percent of the landmass of New York State, it contains 44% of the population. And the upstate region is significantly more conservative than the city, so it’s not a rich area for Democrats to pick up votes.
It’s not that being Mayor of New York City hasn’t been a successful springboard to the Governor’s mansion in the past. It has. But those all tended to be very popular and successful mayors with a broader base of support. And the words “popular” and “successful” don’t exactly spring to mind when talking about Bill de Blasio.
Many of his close allies and fundraisers have wound up being convicted of corruption charges, though prosecutors mysteriously never managed to lay a glove on de Blasio himself. We’ve lost track of how much taxpayer money has been flushed into tasks that he appointed to his wife, with little or nothing delivered in return. He’s also overseen a precipitous decline in the quality of the city’s public school system at that same time that crime rates have risen out of control.
Does that really sound like a formula for success? To top it all off, it’s not as if he’s looking to jump into an otherwise empty field. He’ll be running against State Attorney General Letitia James, whose political star has been on the rise for a while now. And while I still don’t think she’s a shoo-in for a full term of her own, Kathy Hochul will have the bully pulpit of the incumbent Governor at her disposal.
In the 2020 presidential primaries, we got a good look at Bill de Blasio’s obviously inflated opinion of himself and his position as an influential figure in the Democratic party, demonstrated by the almost universal yawn he received from primary voters. Don’t be terribly shocked if the same thing happens again in his home state.