If Joe Biden decides to bow out of the 2024 presidential race, there’s at least one person who is interested in taking his place. That would be New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He hasn’t filed any papers or even formed an exploratory committee, but the New York Post reports that he has told several people that he’s very interested and looking into the possibility. He’s even made a couple of jokes about it during recent appearances. Considering that Adams was only sworn in to his current position less than five months ago, if you find yourself thinking that this might be a bit premature, you’re not alone. Also, given that he ran for office citing the need for urgent action to restore law and order and bring back a sense of normalcy to New York City, shouldn’t he make some progress on those promises before looking for a huge promotion?
Mayor Adams may be eyeing a White House run if President Biden doesn’t seek a second term, confidantes and City Hall insiders told The Post.
“Eric has told me repeatedly that he thinks that he has a platform to run for national office, for president in 2024. He has said that repeatedly. He thinks New York is a national platform. He thinks the national party has gotten too far to the left and he thinks he has a platform to win,” a person close to the mayor said.
A Brooklyn Democratic elected official who was also frequently in talks with the mayor said Adams was “considering a White House run in 2024 if Biden doesn’t seek re-election,” adding that Adams’ advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin was “running point” on the issue.
What is it with New York City mayors looking to make a move to the White House? The last one, Bill de Blasio, also made a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2020. That drew a collection of yawns and laughter from the voters and he eventually dropped out. Of course, now he’s running for Congress, suggesting that he’s simply resigned to the fact that he can’t land a job that isn’t paid for by the taxpayers.
If Adams does wind up throwing his hat in the ring, there will only be one living former Mayor of the Big Apple (David Dinkins) who hasn’t tried to run for the presidency. And it’s true that many NYC mayors have made the attempt. Just as a refresher, do you know how many of them actually became president? None. Grover Cleveland came the closest geographically since he was the Mayor of Buffalo at one point. But he also served as Governor of New York, giving him a strong enough resume to reach for the top job. Theodore Roosevelt was also sort of close, having been the New York City police commissioner before going on to be Governor and then President.
Returning to Adams, it just seems to me that his reach is greatly exceeding his grasp. Less than a year ago he was the Brooklyn borough president and almost nobody outside of Gotham had ever heard of him. His anti-crime, law and order platform proved popular with voters and there’s a fair chance that it might sell well with Democrats in other large cities who are fed up with rising crime rates. But he hasn’t established a track record of success yet. His initiatives to cut down on gun crimes and clean up the subway look promising, but the numbers still really haven’t shifted all that much.
Then there are character issues to consider. We haven’t had all that long to get to know Mayor Adams, but in this brief period of time he’s made headlines for having a fondness for nepotism and cronyism. He may have gone even further, seeking to enrich his associates by using his large platform to enhance the fortunes of a private corporation. Is this really what the DNC wants to sign up for in a national race?
In any event, all of this is still strictly speculative. Like many other Democrats, Adams has been careful to include the caveat “if Joe Biden doesn’t run again” in his alleged remarks. And at least so far, it appears that Biden has every intention of seeking a second term, as amazing as that may seem. But we’ll keep an eye on Mayor Adams. He clearly appears to be someone with grand ambitions and a very high opinion of himself.