NEW YORK — It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
And Friday morning, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio finally announced that his quixotic 2020 presidential campaign was finished after it failed to gain traction.
“I feel like I have contributed all I can to this primary election,” de Blasio said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s clearly not my time, so I’m going to end my presidential campaign.”
Less than an hour later, President Donald Trump gleefully tweeted about the demise of de Blasio’s bid for the White House, sarcastically suggesting no one even cared about the campaign to begin with.
“Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years! Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race,” Trump tweeted. “NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!”
De Blasio said he would continue to speak up for working people, a cornerstone of his campaign platform.
“I’m ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the activists I met on the campaign trail who will fill those frames, who will transform this country into a place which finally delivers the rights and privileges that working people deserve,” de Blasio wrote in an op-ed for NBC on Friday.
The mayor has 27 months left in his mayoralty, and returns to City Hall full time with a litany of problems, from increasing homelessness and a cluster of police suicides to school segregation, traffic congestion, a spike in cyclist deaths and dangerously crumbling infrastructure in public housing.
“Our city is facing real issues that Mayor de Blasio has either ignored or papered over with campaign slogans,” Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said. “He has squandered his credibility and lost the confidence of even his former supporters. He needs to either step aside or be removed to make way for a Mayor who actually wants the job.”
De Blasio’s campaign was regularly dogged by issues back home. De Blasio was in Iowa when a massive blackout plunged huge swaths of Manhattan into darkness. He made it back to the five boroughs hours after power was restored.
De Blasio insisted he could balance a national campaign with his duties back home. But he spent just 91.5 hours, an average of 4.1 hours per workday, doing official business in May, the month he launched his campaign, according to an analysis of schedules by the New York Daily News editorial board.
His campaign was based on the idea that Democrats across the country not only craved the urban progressive policies he’s staked his career on, but also longed for a president with experience running a sprawling government.
“I’m the CEO. I’m the chief executive of the biggest city in the country,” de Blasio said in May. “I have the kind of experience that very few people in this race happen to have.”
De Blasio entered the race on May 16 without encouragement from some of his closest advisers and supporters — or the blessing of the New Yorkers he serves. A majority 76% of city voters said they didn’t want him to run for president at all, according to a poll released the month before he launched his campaign.
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PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): De Blasio