It’s becoming more glaring that the attention of Mayor Bill de Blasio of NYC is more focused on his national, if not presidential, ambitions than running the affairs of his city. Fresh off winning his second and final term as mayor, de Blasio has his eyes set on Iowa and the national stage anew, never mind that his previous attempt has been an epic fail.
De Blasio is heading to the Iowa caucuses next month, home of 2020’s “first presidential beauty contest”, less than 2 weeks before his inauguration as a second-termer mayor of New York City. Such enthusiasm for the Iowa caucuses is a great indication that de Blasio’s interests and ambitions are drifting further and further away from City Hall.
The NYC mayor is set to deliver a keynote address at the holiday fund-raiser for Progress Iowa. It is also being viewed as a strategic opportunity for him to hype his progressive credentials that could prove valuable should he decide to pursue the Democratic nomination.
The caucuses can be a more friendly environment for the mayor as well instead of dealing with more hostile issues back home including the many controversies he’s involved in including pay-to-play scandal, failure to conduct thousands of health-preserving lead inspections in NYCHA apartments and struggle to raise reading scores as he once promised.
City Hall tries hard to defend de Blasio’s lack of focus at home claiming he simply wants to put a national spotlight on issues important to home like the tax bill and another bill that would make it easier for people from other states to carry guns around New York.
De Blasio has claimed he intends to serve a full term which would be concluded in 2021, after the presidential contest. Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said that should de Blasio decided not to run, he could still target the crucial role of playing power broker or gatekeeper. Sheinkopf is perhaps conveniently forgetting that de Blasio has tried that before in the 2016 election and failed miserably, ending up isolated in a lot of sense by the Clinton campaign.
Apparently, no epic failures could stop de Blasio from trying again that he has proven again that for him national, political concerns will always take precedence of his focus and priority over domestic affairs. The mayor did not mind missing a fallen police officer’s funeral back home because he would rather be in another world instigating refugee riots in Europe.
De Blasio’s frequent travels to Washington and elsewhere before the 2016 race opened him to so many criticisms accusing him of not paying adequate attention at home. His aide at the City Hall said the mayor does not plan to travel as much next year.
Fordham University political science Professor Christina Greer said it best when she wondered out loud- “I really do wonder what New Yorkers will get from someone who, realistically, doesn’t need us anymore. “