"Fucking insane," one said.https://t.co/A6PkVSIN6m
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) March 11, 2019
He’s signalling to a very specific demographic, of course. Every morning de Blasio looks in his shaving mirror and whispers “the progressive Dick Cheney… “
… As de Blasio touted his liberal record in Iowa and South Carolina in recent weeks, nearly three dozen former and current aides, consultants and allies who spoke to POLITICO panned the idea or doubted that the mayor would run for the Democratic nomination. Aside from the few people working on the nascent effort, only two said de Blasio should run.
Their reasoning: Some say the 2020 field, a dozen-strong and growing, leaves no room for de Blasio, who’s long struggled to fashion a national persona comparable with past leaders of the country’s largest city, like Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg. Many note that he has too many glaring, unresolved problems at home. Others say the never-truly-popular de Blasio, whom a top Hillary Clinton backer once called “insufferable,” lacks charisma….
It’s a stark contrast to the typical dynamics of a presidential exploration in which aides and allies tend to egg on the potential candidate. Indeed, the strongest advocate for a de Blasio candidacy seems to be de Blasio himself. Gone is the stable of trusted consultants whose advice he once relied on so heavily that he designated them de facto city employees during his first term. In their place are two City Hall aides volunteering their spare time to work on his explorations, and his wife, Chirlane McCray…
Still, de Blasio has been making moves.
He tapped City Hall communications director Mike Casca, a 2016 Bernie Sanders alum, and Jon Paul Lupo, a top government aide with experience on national Senate races, to work on the effort in their spare time. Last month, he traveled to the battleground state of Iowa, trekking through a snowstorm to tout his successes in New York City to a small groups of voters…
De Blasio has a few rationales for a hypothetical candidacy: He’s implemented policies that are now sacrosanct to the left wing of the Democratic Party, such as universal pre-kindergarten and paid sick days for private employers. He also believes he personally embodied the economic populism that coursed through the 2016 election and tried to alert Clinton to it, even if no one was listening.
“My election is clearly an indicator of that gathering storm that then came forth nationally, I think, in the form of Bernie’s campaign,” de Blasio said…
But there’s another problem: Many observers say he’d struggle in the popularity contest aspect of a presidential race.
“The empirical measurements of the city are good, but he can’t get off the ground because nobody likes the guy,” one former City Hall aide said. “He is stubborn about doing things that he feels entitled to do, but don’t do him any favors politically and don’t make a lot of sense.”…
In a recent Quinnipiac Poll that asked New Yorkers which local politicians they’d like to see run in 2020, de Blasio came in last, behind former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cuomo, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and even 29-year-old freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won’t be old enough to run in two years. Only 5 percent said he should run.
In a recent Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers, de Blasio was not mentioned by a single respondent as their first or second choice in a field of 20 Democrats eyeing a run.
He also has a reputation for being condescending toward his own staff, he publicly feuds with the local press corps and has a history of systematically (if unintentionally) alienating people in his own party — the very people who could help him elevate his national profile…
Sounds like a natural match, dunnit? I thought I remembered Mike Casca’s name, and when I googled, this Politico article from June 2016 came up:
… Convinced as Sanders is that he’s realizing his lifelong dream of being the catalyst for remaking American politics—aides say he takes credit for a Harvard Kennedy School study in April showing young people getting more liberal, and he takes personal offense every time Clinton just dismisses the possibility of picking him as her running mate—his guiding principle under attack has basically boiled down to a feeling that multiple aides sum up as: “Screw me? No, screw you.”
“I don’t know who advised him that this was the right route to take, but we are now actively destroying what Bernie worked so hard to build over the last year just to pick up two fucking delegates in a state he lost,” rapid response director Mike Casca complained to Weaver in an internal campaign email obtained by POLITICO.
“Thank you for your views. I’ll relay them to the senator, as he is driving this train,” Weaver wrote back….
Jeff Weaver is still working as Sanders’ ‘political advisor.’ Mike Casca… is not.