The mayor of New York City raised the collective eyebrows of both parties when he flat out refused Sunday to endorse Hillary Clinton’s bid for the United States presidency.
And now, he’s heading to Iowa to push his “progressive” vision for America the very same week that Clinton is in the crucial early primary state pushing hers.
It’s a state she lost she lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.
The Democratic DeBlasio’s snub Sunday, the same day Clinton tossed her hat into the ring,b was noted for several reasons:
- Other state top Dems, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen Charles Schumer, offered their unbridled enthusiasm for the former First Lady.
- De Blasio managed her 2000 campaign for the Senate.
- Clinton and Chirlane McCray, the mayor’s wife, just appeared side-by-side at an event promoting a major early childhood development initiative.
- Clinton and her husband Bill were special guests at the mayor’s swearing in.
Hilary Rosen, a major party consultant and specialist, was flabbergasted and launched the social media missiles.
@BilldeBlasio's self aggrandizing on #MeetthePress at @hillaryclintons exnse won't go un noticed. #Ridiculous, she posted on Twitter.
De Blasio responded this way Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press to the endorsement question: “Like a lot of people in this country, I want to see a vision,” Hizzoner said.
And he did heap some praise: “She’s a tremendous public servant,” he said. “I think she is one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office. And by the way, thoroughly vetted, we can say that. But we need to see the substance.”
The mayor’s two-day trip this week to Iowa and a second state was actually planned weeks ago.
Still, the timing of what appears to be a snub -- several political cynics have suggested de Blasio would not have done this unless he had Clinton’s okay -- has tongues wagging.
De Blasio has said he wants to keep his signature issues -- income inequality, affordable housing, police reform -- on the Dems’ front burners.
He has a major speech planned in Nebraska on Wednesday and on Thursday, will be at a campus forum at Drake University’s Harkin public policy school.
Presiding over the forum is the man the school is named in honor of, Democrat and retired long-time U.S. senator Tom Harkin, who is a beloved and respected political legend in The Hawkeye State.