Hillary Clinton is seen at an October 2013 fund-raiser for now-Mayor de Blasio — but will he return the favor?
Hillary Clinton made her presidential candidacy official Sunday and was rapturously received by leading Democrats — except for one prominent party pooper, Mayor de Blasio.
Clinton ended months of behind-the-scenes planning with a tweet and the release of a video Sunday afternoon.
But before she even launched, de Blasio, who ran Clinton’s 2000 Senate race, withheld his endorsement — saying he wants to “see a vision” from her first.
“We need to see the substance,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, a few hours before the official announcement.
De Blasio called Clinton a “tremendous public servant” and “one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office,” but demanded she get behind policies like hiking taxes on the rich.
“I think progressives all over the country, I think everyday Americans are demanding that their candidates, the President and (on) every other level, really say that we have a plan that we can believe in for addressing income inequality,” he said.
“It has to include increases in wages and benefits. It has to include the willingness to tax the wealthy so we can invest in infrastructure, so we can invest in education again.”
Bill de Blasio is not ready to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding he would like to see her embrace a progressive agenda.
Clinton loyalists were less than impressed.
Democratic strategist and longtime Clinton fan Hilary Rosen tweeted that the mayor’s “self-aggrandizing” at Clinton’s expense “won’t go unnoticed” — saying Clinton “fought for the middle class and poor families long before Bill de Blasio could even articulate any vision at all.”
Other New York Democrats heaped praise on Clinton, who is backed by nearly all of the Democratic establishment and has already been endorsed by more than half of all Democratic senators and House members. President Obama said Saturday she would be an “excellent President.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the likely future Democratic leader of the Senate, told reporters Sunday, “She has the experience and mind-set to get results. Hillary has the rare ability to understand the problems that confront hardworking Americans, and the rare experience to get things done for them.”
Gov. Cuomo, in a statement, sang her praises. “Hillary Clinton has been a lifelong champion for middle-class families, an advocate for the underserved, and a fighter for civil rights.”
He added: “Having known and worked with her for over 20 years, I wholeheartedly endorse Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President.”
© JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS/REUTERS
De Blasio also said that Clinton has a better chance to embrace a left-leaning economic platform now than in her 2008 campaign, as many wages have grown stagnant.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said in a statement: “I am thrilled Hillary Clinton is running, and I will do everything I can to help make sure she makes history as our first woman President.”
Clinton launched with a tweet that read: “I’m running for President. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”
Minutes before the tweet and rollout video, her campaign was announced to 2008 Clinton alumni and donors with an email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“Hillary’s running for President,” Podesta wrote in the email. “She is hitting the road to Iowa to start talking directly to voters. There will be a formal kickoff next month.”
The video makes it clear that she plans to focus on helping increase economic mobility and equal rights for women.
The video sought to portray her as a normal American out to help average families. After 90 seconds of people — including a number of biracial and gay couples — talking about what they’re “getting ready” for in their lives, Clinton makes her first appearance.
“I’m getting ready to do something, too — I’m running for President,” she says. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion so you can do more than just get by, you can get ahead and stay ahead.”