The Media's Bronx Cheer for
Bill De Blasio's Campaign
By the time Bill de Blasio made his long-awaited announcement yesterday that he was running for president, the conventional wisdom had long since formed.

So it was no surprise when yesterday morning, as the eyes of the nation turned to de Blasio, the Post ran a montage on its cover of people laughing hysterically. Or that in The Times , Jennifer Senior mocked him in a column that was if anything even more contemptuous. 

“You may have read that Bill de Blasio spends a lot of time at this gym,” Senior wrote, in a tipoff that she was not going to be kind. “Whenever I am there, so is he, as enduring a fixture as the baskets of used towels in the locker room.” Later in the piece, Senior referred to him as “essentially an asterisk.”

It was still early in the morning when de Blasio released his announcement video, and then appeared on Good Morning America for an interview with George Stephanopoulos. He finished up with an afternoon press conference on Liberty Island.

Not long afterwards, we pulled up Politico New York’s coverage of his day. “ De Blasio’s bungled rollout ,” the headline read.

“The 23rd candidate to enter the Democratic presidential field found a slice of the limelight by botching his carefully planned announcement rollout,” it reported.

The New Yorker came to a similar conclusion (" A Chilly Reception

Three out of four New Yorkers  didn’t think  that de Blasio should run for President, which pretty much qualifies as consensus in American politics,” wrote Eric Lach. “That de Blasio has launched a campaign anyway might be explained by his confessed inability to read his constituency’s mood.”

Who knew the New Yorker hated Bill de Blasio? Was it always the case? Or is it this race that's making people so crazy angry at him?
When we got home at the end of the day, we turned on CNN for its coverage of the announcement. After first running video of police union members chanting “Liar!” outside of the GMA studios, Erin Burnett turned to interview political journalist Joan Walsh.

Erin Burnett: Why is Bill de Blasio running? What is his path to victory?

Joan Walsh: It does not exist. I’m sorry if I’m the first one to tell him that….He seems to be bored with his job.”

And that from a reporter for The Nation.
To be sure, a 17 year old got the jump on de Blasio’s announcement and forced his aides to spill the beans earlier than planned. And police union hecklers did make it onto TV.

But de Blasio did fine yesterday. His video was slick, he stuck to his theme of putting working families first, and his event at Liberty Island was picturesque as planned.

It wasn’t perfect, but so what? At this point, the conventional wisdom
on the mayor is driving the coverage instead of the other way around. Bumbling Bill strikes again – even when he doesn’t.

Not a dynamic you want on the presidential campaign trail.
About de Blasio's opponents...
If the mayor is pinning his hopes on the weaknesses of his left-wing rivals, he’s got his job cut out for him.

Elizabeth Warren, who wore her own kick-me sign when she entered the race, has found her footing of late. It was evident when she became one of the only 2020 Democrats to take a pass on a Fox News town hall opportunity and and labeled the news channel a "hate-for-profit" network.

It was a bold move for the Massachusetts senator, who has been earning increasingly respectful coverage by churning out policy after policy , leading what The Guardian dubbed the 2020 ideas primary .
Her shot at Fox generated the kind of press that makes a progressive’s day.

"Elizabeth Warren Tells Fox News to go F--k Itself,"  reported Vanity Fair . “'A hate-for-profit racket': Warren refuses Fox town hall invite,"  headlined Politico . “Elizabeth Warren's 'Hate-for-Profit' Label Might Just Stick to Fox News,"  said Esquire's Charlie Pierce .

Warren passed up a lot of viewers, and took friendly fire for refusing to appear before a big swath of the country, but she got a lot in return. Should she become the Democratic nominee, she will probably regret insulting all those conservatives. But that’s a concern for another day.
Back in the Land of Normal...
The same week that de Blasio plunged head-first into the race and made a noisy, messy splash, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana made a far more modest entrance.

How do you break through in a field of nearly two dozen Democrats? You hammer home the one thing that makes you stand out and hope the press plays along.

The Governor told anyone who would listen that he is a Democrat who has been elected in a state that Donald Trump won by 20 points. The media bought what he was selling.

"Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Touting Trump-State Victory, Enters 2020 Race," wrote the Bullock campaign, er, the Daily Beast

"Montana Governor Steve Bullock enters the 2020 race as a Democrat from a Trump state," reported ABC

"Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat and red state winner, announces presidential run," read the NBC news headline

"Democrat Steve Bullock Won A Red State in 2016. Can He Beat Trump in 2020," pondered the Atlantic

And on it went, the dazzling results of good, old-fashioned message discipline. It didn’t land Bullock de Blasio-sized coverage, but he also entered the race without de Blasio-sized problems.

That’s a deal most candidates would probably take.
Here and There
Laura Nahmias moves from Politico New York to the Daily News editorial board…former Mercury Public Affairs VP Kate Lucadamo becomes deputy communications director for New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson…The Wall Street Journal hires John McCormick from Bloomberg , Tarini Parti  from BuzzFeed and Catherine Lucey from AP


"Good thing about New Yorkers is they look the same whether they’re pissed off at you or they like you.” - Mayor de Blasio in his announcement video.
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