Clinton, de Blasio Ties Could Be Mutually Beneficial

Image: Clinton, de Blasio Ties Could Be Mutually Beneficial

Thursday, 02 Jan 2014 09:35 AM

By Lisa Barron

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When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in by former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday, it was a clear sign that the Big Apple's first Democratic chief executive in 20 years has become part of Bill and Hillary Clinton's extended political family.

"It has been a great joy for Hillary and me to see the Mayor's progress," Clinton said, adding that de Blasio "represents, with his family, the future of our city and our country."

The support of the so-called standard bearers of the Democratic Party is certainly advantageous to de Blasio, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"The threat is a clear one: Anyone who challenges him would be challenging the Clinton wing of the party, which is the dominant side," Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant who has worked for the former president, told the Times.

De Blasio has long standing ties to the Clintons, serving as a Department of Housing and Urban Development regional director under former President Clinton and as campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's successful New York Senate campaign in 2000.

He also campaigned for the former first lady during her unsuccessful bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Although the Clintons did not endorse de Blasio in the primary, as one of his opponents was former Rep. Anthony Weiner, husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, they pulled out all the stops in support of his campaign and held a top-dollar fundraiser weeks before his landslide victory.

The potential benefits of their bond could also extend to Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president again in 2016. Having de Blasio on her side could help Clinton gain support from those on the left who have doubts about her progressive credentials, reports CNN.

"Hillary's close relationship with the new Mayor of New York — and the new darling stalwart of the progressive left — can only help her bona fides as a candidate who will be unwavering in the fight against income inequality and a level playing field for working families who do not feel the economy is working for them even as it continues to get better," Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist and adviser for Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, told the cable network.

"If she runs, he will give her added credibility and could give skeptic progressives reason to look no further for another candidate," she added.

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