Bill de Blasio's Endless Summer
Like Bill de Blasio, we spent much of August on the road, leaving this dyspeptic metropolis behind to experience the America New Yorkers rarely see. Our paths didn’t cross on our respective road trips, but we shared the mayor’s exuberance over getting out of Dodge.

“He’s so happy,” New York 1’s Grace Rauh told the Washington Post about de Blasio’s campaign for president. “In South Carolina, he high-fived me on the way into an event. He wouldn’t even break into a smile when he sees a reporter in New York.”

As summer nears an end, though, we, like so many other New Yorkers, have thrown in the towel on our brief escape from reality and returned to our routines here. For the mayor, though, the road trip continues.

“I love being here in Nevada - it’s an incredible place,” he beamed in a campaign video last Thursday, looking touristy in black running shorts, T-shirt and a baseball cap in front of the idyllic mountains of Red Rock Canyon (“how is this not a vacation funded by campaign donors and taxpayers?” Anna Sanders of the Daily News wondered ). Innumerable reporters have noted how much happier de Blasio seems on the primary trail, which shed some light on New York Post reporter Nolan Hicks’ revelation that de Blasio worked just seven hours at City Hall in May.

The reality is that the mayor’s campaign for president has not worked out, however, and the deathwatch on his campaign has intensified. “He has struggled to break zero percent in most polls and has remained at the bottom of Democratic presidential candidates when it comes to fund-raising,” noted Jeffrey Mays in The Times . When the next televised debate is held Thursday, de Blasio will have to watch it on TV.

Unlike Kirsten Gillibrand, who withdrew from the race after failing to make the cut for the debate, de Blasio kicked the can down the road, saying the next debate in October might be decisive. It would be "tough to conceive continuing" if he doesn’t make the October debate, he said. “I’m a human being,” he told reporters . “I have eyes to see.”

But does he? "People go from unheard of to famous in 72 hours now," de Blasio caveated hopefully.

There are many ways to message a decision to get out: knowing it’s not your time but holding your head high ( Gillibrand ); having aides promote your policy legacy ( Jay Inslee ); or hanging around too long and sending confusing signals (the mayor).

What legacy will de Blasio leave on the presidential race when he inevitably bows out? Inslee’s climate change proposals have defined the conversation about the topic since his withdrawal. At a CNN town hall, Elizabeth Warren praised Inslee’s ideas as "bold and thoughtful,” Bernie Sanders hailed his "impactful campaign” and even Joe Biden, who had been on the receiving end of Inslee’s attacks, tweeted that "Inslee brought an important voice to this race." 

What has de Blasio contributed, aside from an attention-seeking vow to “tax the hell out of the wealthy” and a failed effort to brand Donald Trump “Con Don?”

When his campaign finally comes to an end, de Blasio's efforts should be measured not just by how well he fared – we know the answer to that already – but how the public benefited from his efforts. Thus far his contribution to the national conversation isn’t especially clear. He might want to consider what his campaign has added up to before it finally reaches the end of the road.
A Journalism Grace Note
Speaking of Grace Rauh, the New York 1 political reporter announced yesterday that she is leaving journalism. She heads to BridgeBio, which develops treatments for patients with genetic diseases, where she will serve as Vice President of marketing and communications. The political team at New York 1 is a mighty force in this city (we’re partial), and Rauh’s work was especially memorable, topped by her relentless, ultimately successful effort to force City Hall to release hundreds of emails from political consultants whom de Blasio branded “agents of the city.” There's no ambiguity over how the public benefited from those efforts.
Here and There
Kristen Grennan has joined the mayor’s New York City Census 2020 team as director of digital communications... Madison Mounty is now working as a senior associate of nonprofits at Kasirer... Joe Hines, previously a VP at BerlinRosen, will become digital director at Stand Up America… Eliana Johnson , a Politico White House reporter, becomes editor in chief at the Washington Free Beacon… Julia Redpath , deputy managing editor at NPR for 26 years, becomes the executive producer of ABC’s “This Week,” while Allison Sandza becomes senior producer at “Meet the Press”. 
Quotable
 "To revisit a month in the life of this President was exhausting, a dark journey to a nasty and contentious place." -- New Yorker writer Susan Glasser, who reviewed all 680 of the president's tweets in August.
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