Why is he doing it? Can he win? We decided to ask some consultants and other experts we respect to assess the likelihood of de Blasio gaining traction and becoming a viable contender for the Democratic nomination. We asked them to rate the mayor's chances of success on a scale of 1-10, and to analyze where this story is headed. Some preferred anonymity. All expressed skepticism about de Blasio's chances of success.
Dean of the Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
Rating: 2. “I would have gone for “1” but have to factor in our Mayor’s extraordinary run of electoral luck. He doesn’t offer a new point on the policy spectrum, a compelling personal narrative, any proven ability to connect with unfamiliar audiences, or a roster of leadership victories that should command attention outside of New York City. Add to that a series of ham-fisted performances every time he ventures beyond the five boroughs, and there’s not a lot of peg on which to hang a candidacy.”
Democratic public affairs VP and former city official
: Rating: 5. “So often, it's the candidate who no one is talking about who ultimately emerges in the top tier. Right now, that sums up de Blasio -- he's a nobody in this field. But it's not crazy to picture him doing retail on the streets of Keene, N.H. or Iowa City and being remembered as "the tall guy." He'll have a message that resonates, and de Blasio's strength has always been running campaigns, taking shots, and sticking to a political script.”
Famous national Democratic fundraiser:
“There is zero appetite for him to run. Tons of people have told me they’d love to have seen Mike Bloomberg run; no one has ever told me they hope de Blasio jumps in.”
Joe Lhota, former Republican Mayoral Candidate, MTA Chairman, Deputy Mayor.
Rating: 2. “There is absolutely no risk in de Blasio running for POTUS (unless, of course, you define losing as a risk). It's obvious from the reports of journalists traveling with him that he appears to be a different person outside of New York; he’s happier, has more press availabilities, appears energetic. Even a poor showing in the primaries does not preclude him from serving in the cabinet. He enhances his profile, he runs using OPM (other people’s money), he has Dean Fuleihan to run the city day-to-day, he gets to see America, and he positions himself for his post-mayoral gig.”
Widely-feared Democratic lobbyist.
Rating: 3. “De Blasio can point to some significant accomplishments that will resonate with some of the Democratic base like universal pre-K, criminal justice reform, affordable housing. Conversely, once voters do their research (likely with the help of other presidential candidates and their supporters in the media), he will have trouble breaking through the narrative about the many challenges he has faced as mayor.”
Democratic campaign attorney and NYC political mandarin
: Rating: 1.
“He is smoking very bad weed.
Democratic fixer and whisperer to developers:
“He will not raise funds sufficient to make a credible run, particularly given his ratings here and overhanging issues including NYCHA and more.”
Chris McNickle, business leader, author and mayoral historian:
Rating: 2. “Mayor de Blasio has tried and failed for years to connect his political passions to the lives of Americans outside New York City. Nothing has changed. He lacks the ability to convince people his ideas and talents are relevant to them. Lindsay 1972 redux.”
Democratic boutique communications firm chief
: Rating: 1. “People forget he isn’t a talented or inspirational campaigner. His career is built on winning 260,000 votes (in the primary) in a city of 8.4 million people and beating an extremely weak field and when every possible variable broke his way.”
Andrew Sullivan, Democratic consultant and partner, Hudson Pacific.
My experience on John Kerry’s campaign in Iowa taught me this: ignore the national media narrative, remember polls at this stage are testing little beyond name recognition, and focus on building support locally. Can
de Blasio deliver a message and build a successful grassroots campaign? His political record in New York suggests yes. Can he do so in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond? TBD.”
Matt Mahoney, former Giuliani and Bloomberg aide, current VP for SUEZ North America.
Rating: 1. “I’ve worked for two very successful mayors of NYC with presidential ambitions and neither of them could do it with better name ID and much more successful track records. So unless there is a major park/horse-drawn carriage issue in Nashua, New Hampshire I think the nation is safe.”