I am incredibly underwhelmed by the quality of these potential choices. De Blasio in secret bid to be Dems’ 2016 pick
By Fredric U. Dicker
April 20, 2015
Photo: Seth Gottfried ; Startraks
Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Mayor Bill de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Wall Street-friendly Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The Post.
De Blasio’s hope, the operative said, is a “Draft de Blasio’’ movement will develop among progressive activists over the next several months that will lead to the mayor being able to defeat Clinton in the primary elections next year in much the same way leftist Sen. George McGovern successfully challenged the initially front-running establishment Democratic candidate, Sen. Edmund Muskie, more than 40 years ago.
Standing ready to back de Blasio against Clinton, said the operative, is the state’s small but influential Working Families Party, which has strong ties to de Blasio and is funded by some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions.
Earlier this year, the New York-based WFP urged Massachusetts Senator and Wall Street-bashing “progressive’’ favorite Elizabeth Warren to challenge Clinton and run for president — but she has repeatedly said she won’t do so.
“With Warren saying she’s not running, de Blasio and his advisers are trying to position the mayor as the ‘draft’ candidate for the left in 2016. That’s why he refused to endorse Hillary last week,’’ contended the operative, who is involved in presidential politics.
The draft effort explains why de Blasio was accompanied last week on his “progressive” speech-making trip to Iowa by John Del Cecato, one of the nation’s most important Democratic communications strategists and the man responsible for the popular “Dante” TV spot that helped get de Blasio elected mayor, said the operative.
“Why would your ad maker be traveling with you in a non-campaign year? Why was he there with de Blasio in Iowa unless you’re trying for something bigger?’’ asked the operative.
For Del Cecato, an expert in Iowa politics and a longtime campaign adviser to President Obama, helping develop a draft effort for de Blasio may also be personal.
Del Cecato was described by the operative as “part of the faction of Obama advisers who still deeply dislike and deeply distrust Clinton’’ dating from the time the two faced off in the Democratic primaries in 2008.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who came under attack from fellow Democrats last year for doing little to help his party recapture control of the state Senate, still hasn’t done anything to help the Senate Democrats this year, The Post has learned.
Even as Cuomo recently updated his own campaign committee for a possible re-election campaign in 2018 and held a $15,000-a-person fundraiser for his campaign committee, he “has not provided any help with fundraising or candidate recruitment to date,’’ a source close to Senate Democrats told The Post.
The governor, who faced a surprisingly strong primary challenge last fall in part because of his refusal to help Senate Democrats, has been publicly criticized by Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for leaving her out of state budget talks. The remarks didn’t sit well with the thin-skinned Cuomo, insiders say.
The Senate Democratic source, noting the Senate elections don’t take place until 2016, said Cuomo would be officially put on the spot with a formal request for assistance later this year.http://nypost.com/2015/04/20/de-blasio-sets-sights-on-presidential-draft-candidacy-vs-hillary/