Hillary Clinton would easily dethrone vulnerable Bill de Blasio and cruise to victory as the next mayor of New York City — if she wants the job — political insiders told the Herald yesterday.
“Were she to run, de Blasio’s best move would be to put in his retirement papers,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran New York City Democratic strategist who’s worked for both former President Bill Clinton and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“If she shows up, she clears the field — it’s over. She’s wildly popular here, and her rationale for running is she can unite the city and she could be an advocate in Washington, where she has friends in the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle.”
Clinton, fresh off a devastating presidential upset, has given no indication whether she’d return to politics, but a chance to run the largest city in America — and the place where the Trump Organization is headquartered — could be impossible to pass up.
‘As a TV host, she’d discuss the issues of the day from a progressive point of view, have top guests, interview world leaders and progressive thinkers.’
‘She’s convinced she’d get fabulous ratings in a political climate where there’s so much anger in Democratic circles over Donald Trump’s election,’ the insider said.
It’s not the leader of the free world, but it’s an influential, high-caliber political post that past mayors like John Lindsay and Rudy Giuliani have used to launch White House bids, albeit failed ones.
Other cities around the world are often quick to follow New York’s lead on policies and initiatives — the city’s 2003 decision to ban smoking in the workplace, for instance.
“When New York did it, Italy, Ireland, most of Europe and the rest of the country followed,” said Stu Loeser, a longtime press secretary to Bloomberg.
“If you really care about innovating in policy, you have the flexibility, the power, the resources and the bully pulpit to do it in New York and have it copied,” Loeser said.
Loeser also argued that Clinton’s political weaknesses — including her inability to connect with average voters the way former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did — will be less damaging in a mayoral run.
“It matters in a presidential race. New Yorkers approach things a little differently,” Loeser said. “New Yorkers like wonky technocratic mayors that roll up their sleeves, but more importantly, offer new and interesting ideas.”
A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed Clinton well ahead of de Blasio in a hypothetical showdown. Clinton, running as an independent, leads de Blasio, running as a Democrat, 49-30 percent, according to the poll. The same survey shows most New Yorkers, by a 49-42 margin, don’t believe de Blasio deserves to be re-elected.
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