Mayor Bill de Blasio’s quixotic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination ended in flames last month — but Hizzoner’s White House flop may have also damaged his future political prospects, experts say.
“I think immediately it didn’t help,” de Blasio biographer Joseph Viteritti said about the campaign’s effect on de Blasio’s profile.
“In the long run, I’m not sure it’s going to be better.”
The ill-fated presidential campaign failed to move the needle with voters or donors — with de Blasio failing to crack 2 percent in the polls.
De Blasio had hoped to raise his national profile — but his missteps may have not helped his chances at a Cabinet-level position with a potential Democratic administration.
“I don’t think it really made a difference one way or another,” said Chris Lu, who led the Obama-Biden transition team in 2008. “He would certainly be in the pool of candidates, but I would caution that’s a pretty big pool.”
Among the overstuffed Democratic field of nearly 20 candidates, Hizzoner did little to distinguish himself. As a result, he left a yawning leadership gap at home, exemplified by a massive July power outage that crippled Manhattan as de Blasio stumped in Iowa.
De Blasio will likely try to stay on the public payroll in some capacity as he is set to be term-limited out of City Hall in 2021, experts predicted.
“So much is dependent on who the actual president-elect is and who they have relationships with,” said Lu.
George Arzt, a political consultant who worked for late Mayor Ed Koch, said that how the election breaks may go a long way towards determining de Blasio’s future.
“If it is someone like Elizabeth Warren who is very progressive, certainly he would fit in an administration like that,” said Arzt. “I don’t think that [more moderate] Joe Biden would pick him, but he certainly has a chance.”
Viteritti said that if he can’t land a cabinet position, de Blasio may opt for a more behind-the-scenes role in the Democratic party, or trying another route to Washington.
“You could see him having some kind of a post in the Democratic party, particularly if the party leans left, which it tends to be doing,” said Viteritti. “The third possibility which nobody ever talks about … is for him to run for the Senate at some point in New York.
“Whatever you think of his run for the presidency, he will still two years from now be the former mayor of New York City.”
A source close to de Blasio through his scandal-scarred political action committee, the Fairness PAC, said that he plans, at least in the short-term, to boost fellow lefties.
“I think he’s going to continue fundraising for Democratic candidates,” said the insider.
But mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein denied that her lame-duck boss is thinking beyond the remainder of his time in City Hall.
“Your sources are wrong,” said Goldstein. “We have two years and three months to continue improving the lives of New Yorkers.
“That’s what the mayor is focused on.”
Additional reporting by Aaron Feis