INDECISION 2020

Mayor de Blasio remains undecided on a presidential run, but clear on his insistence that his resistance has nothing to do with the alleged scandal within his administration. We’ll discuss.

Aired on May 9, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

COULD NEW YORK'S MAYOR BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT?

THE POLLS SHOW IT IS QUITE A LONG SHOT.

MAYOR de BLASIO SAYS HE HAS BEEN AN UNDERDOG THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER BUT HAS NOT LOST A RACE YET.

THE DEMOCRAT WAS REPORTEDLY READY THIS WEEK TO JUMP INTO THE PACKED DEMOCRATIC FIELD WHICH ALREADY INCLUDES NEARLY TWO DOZEN CANDIDATES.

BUT ON MONDAY HE SAID THAT YOU CAN'T MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT WITHOUT FIRST HAVING MADE A DECISION AND HE STILL HAS NOT MADE ONE.

FOR MORE ON THE MAYOR'S POLITICAL FUTURE, I'M JOINED BY THE EDITOR, BEN.

SO THE LATEST FROM THE MAYOR IS THAT HE WON'T MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT HIS PRESIDENTIAL DECISION.

I THINK HE'S STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF HE WANTS TO DO THIS.

WE KNOW HE'S COULD GO INTERNAL POLLING AS WELL AS PUBLIC POLLS.

HE ADMITTED HE HAS BEEN DOING SOME POLLING IN IOWA AND ELSEWHERE LIKE NEW HAMPSHIRE, SOUTH CAROLINA.

HE'S VISITED THESE STATES, AS WELL AS NEVADA AS HE WAS DOING SOME EXPLORATION.

I THINK HE'S WEIGHING, WHAT IS MY PATH?

HOW CAN DO I THIS AND RUN THE CITY?

WHAT IS MY PITCH GOING TO BE?

WHERE DO I FIT IN?

HOW MIGHT THIS AFFECT MY POLITICAL FUTURE BEYOND THE RACE?

THINGS LIKE THAT.

SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK YOU BEFORE THE SEGMENT IS OUT.

HE SAID MONTH OF MAY.

ALREADY A NUMBER OF LEFT LEANING PEOPLE IN THE RACE.

WHAT WOULD BE THE RATIONALE FOR HIS ENTERING THE RACE IF HE DECIDES TO?

I THINK THE MAYOR'S THAT I HAVE, HE'S GIVEN NIBBLINGS ON EVEN THOUGH HE'S SAID, I'M NOT A A DECLARED CANDIDATE.

IT WOULD BE THIS MIXING OF EXEC EXPERIENCE THE THE PROGRESSIVE VISION.

HE TALKS ABOUT HAVING IMPLEMENTED CERTAIN THINGS THAT MANY OTHERS CAN ONLY REALLY TALK ABOUT BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN IN THE MINORITY IN THE U.S. SENATE, FOR EXAMPLE.

SO HE WOULD TRY TO PITCH HIS EXPERIENCE AS THE MAYOR OF THE BIGGEST CITY OF THE COUNTRY AND HIS PROGRESSIVE VISION.

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUCCESSES, ACHIEVEMENTS HE WOULD LIKELY TOUT.

?

I THINK IT WAS HIS MAIN ACHIEVEMENT, HIS NUMBER ONE PROMISE WHEN HE RAN AND HE'S LARGELY DELIVERED ON IT.

WE HAVE TO MEASURE HOW THE PROGRAM IS GOING.

HE WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT THAT.

THEN A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER THINGS THAT HE'S DONE.

THE QUESTION IS, HOW DO THEY TRANSLATE TO A NATIONAL AUDIENCE?

DO THINGS THAT MATTER IN NEW YORK CITY MATTER IN PLACES LIKE IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE?

BUT THERE WILL BE THINGS LIKE PAID SICK LEAVE.

THINGS HE'S DONE TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES.

A VARIETY OF THINGS HE WOULD HAVE IN AN URBAN AGENDA CERTAINLY.

THERE WAS A POLL CONDUCTED.

WE'RE IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF NEW YORKERS, INCLUDING THE MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS, SAID THAT HE SHOULD NOT RUN.

AND THERE WAS ONE POLL WHERE HE IS THE ONLY POTENTIAL CANDIDATE UNDER WATER.

WHERE HE IS, HIS FAVORABILITY RATINGS, MORE PEOPLE DISLIKE HIM THAN LIKE HIM BY 6 POINTS.

HOW DOES HE OVERCOME THAT?

THOSE NUMBERS WERE PRETTY STARTLING OF I THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY MIGHT ASSOCIATE THE TERM NEW YORK CITY MAYOR WITH SOMETHING THAT IS NOT NECESSARILY THEIR CUP OF TEA.

I DON'T THINK PEOPLE KNOW HIM AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THAT MIGHT BE, HIS RESPONSE TO THAT IS, THESE ARE ALL EARLY.

MAY BE THEY DON'T LOOK SO GOOD FOR ME BUT I'M NOT IN THE RACE.

PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ME.

THEY HAVEN'T MET MY FAMILY.

WE KNOW HIS FAMILY IS KEY.

THAT'S A BIG SELL.

I CAN'T IMAGINE IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME IN A PRESIDENTIAL RACE.

ESPECIALLY NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SOUTH CAROLINA.

HIS WIFE IS FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE.

I THINK THAT WOULD BE A LONG ROAD TO HOE.

HE WOULD BE COMING OUT OF GATE, I HAVE TO IMAGINE, WITH SOME BIG IDEAS LIKE HE HAD IN HIS MAYORAL RACE WHERE HE PROMISED CERTAIN POLICIES AND HE'S SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW, HE'S A PRETTY GOOD CAMPAIGNER.

HE HASN'T LOST A RACE.

HE WOULD NEED TO COME IN WITH A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT.

THE QUESTION IS, CAN HE OUTPROGRESSIVE ELIZABETH WARREN OR BERNIE SANDERS?

AS HE'S GETTING READY TO DECIDE, HE'S FACING QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS PRACTICE OF SOLICITING DONATIONS OF PEOPLE DOING BUSINESS WITH THE CITY.

THE MOST RECENT WAS AN UNEARTHED REPORT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS IN THE CITY THAT THAT CHASTISED HIM FOR CONTINUING TO SOLICIT FUNDS FROM PEOPLE WHO DO BUSINESS WITH THE CITY AFTER HE WAS ADMONISHED NOT TO DO IT.

IT IS A WHOLE STRING OF INCIDENTS LIKE THAT.

SO THEREFORE MAJOR ETHICAL CLOUDS THAT HANG OVER HIM, AS HE DOES ANYTHING.

AS HE CONTINUES TO RUN THE CITY OR THE NATIONAL STAGE.

HE MAY BE TRYING TO GET INTO THIS PRESIDENTIAL RACE WITH THE NUMBER ONE GOAL OF SOMEHOW CARVING OUT A PATH TO WINNING IT.

BUT THERE ARE OTHER GOALS HE MIGHT HAVE LIKE SETTING HIMSELF UP TO BE IN THE CABINET.

THAT'S WHERE SOME OF THOSE SCANDALS COULD ALSO HURT HIM IF THEY BECOME PART OF THE CONVERSATION.

HE HAS THAT HANGING OVER HIM.

HE HAS MAJOR OTHER FAILURES.

EXAMPLE?

HE HASN'T GOTTEN HIS ARMS AROUND THE CITY'S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS.

HE'S DONE A LOT TO ADDRESS IT AND MADE SOME PROGRESS BUT CERTAINLY NOT THE KIND OF IMPACT THAT HE PROMISED OR THAT PEOPLE EXPECTED FROM THIS NEW PROGRESSIVE MAYOR.

OBVIOUSLY, ISSUES, A COUPLE.

THE FIASCO.

IT COULD HURT HIM IN CERTAIN WAYS.

DIFFERENT CROWDS.

AND THEN CERTAINLY, HE DOESN'T RUN THE MTA IN THE SUBWAYS.

THE FACT THAT THEY WERE IN SUCH CRISIS AND HE'S THE MAYOR AND HE DIDN'T REALLY SEEM TO TAKE MUCH NOTICE OF IT FOR A WHILE, OR EVEN OWNERSHIP WOULD HURT HIM.

WHY THE BIG QUESTION?

DOES ANY OF THAT FOLLOW HIM ON THE ROAD?

DO VOTERS IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, SOUTH CAROLINA, NEVADA?

DO THEY CARE?

PROBABLY NOT.

DO THEY CARE THAT HOMELESSNESS IS STILL A CRISIS IN NEW YORK CITY?

I DON'T KNOW.

THEY WOULD PROBABLY BE MORE INTERESTED IN WHAT ARE HIS IDEAS THAT WOULD AFFECT THEIR DAILY LIVES.

HE WOULD HAVE TO REALLY SELL HIMSELF.

ONE OF THE ISSUES IS NOT ONLY ON THAT POLICY FRONT BUT THE PERSONALITY FRONT.

BILL de BLASIO IS NOT REALLY A MAGNETIC SPEAKER OR CANDIDATE.

HE CAN COME IN WITH A GOOD PITCH AS WE SAW.

ESPECIALLY BRINGING HIS FAMILY ALONG.

CAN HE REALLY MAKE A SPLASH IN THIS FIELD GIVEN SOME OF THE OTHER PERSONALITIES OUT THERE?

HE DOESN'T LIKE THE COMPARISON OF THE PRESIDENT TRUMP, THEY THINK HE IS AGAINST THEM.

ACCORDING TO NEW YORK MAGAZINE, HE MAY BE RUNNING TO GET THAT.

WITHOUT THE FILTER OF THE NEW YORK PRESS.

COULD THIS BE SOMETHING?

I THINK THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING TO THAT.

I THINK HE DOES RUN INTO THE CHALLENGE THAT SO MUCH OF THE NATIONAL PRESS IS BASED IN NEW YORK CITY.

SOME OF THE MAJOR CABLE NETWORKS, HOW THEY PORTRAY HIM.

HE HAS ENJOYED TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY.

TALKING ABOUT HIS PERCEIVED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND HE WOULD GET SOME FAVORABLE PRESS.

ESPECIALLY IF HE'S COMING OUT OF PRESS WITH SOME BIG IDEAS ABOUT WHAT TO DO.

THOSE STORIES FROM BACK HOME, THEY ARE GOING TO SHAPE THE LARGER NARRATIVE.

SO WE HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS LEFT.

HE HAS TO END IT PRETTY LATE.

THE DEBATES ARE NEXT MONTH.

HE HAS TO COME OUT WITH SOME SPLASHY IDEAS AND TRY TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE LARGER FIELD NARRATIVE QUICKLY.

AND HE HAS TO QUALIFY FOR THAT FIRST DEBATE AT THE END OF JUNE WHICH HAS A PRETTY LOW THRESHOLD IN TERMS OF POLLING.

HE MIGHT BE CLOSE ON THE POLLING.

IF HE JUMPS IN, IT MIGHT GIVE HIM THE BOOST THAT HE NEEDS.

HE HAS TO GO TO SOME OF THESE STATES AND GET SOME ATTENTION AND MAKE AN IMPACT.

HE'S GOING TO DO IT?

I WOULD SAY IT'S LIKELY BUT I'M NOT INSIDE HIS HEAD AND WE KNOW THEY HAVE A TOUGH TIME MAKING THESE DECISIONS.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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