political marriages

Bill De Blasio and Wife Chirlane McCray Don’t Mind the Clinton Comparisons

New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray make an appearance in Union Square in support of fast-food workers during a rally in New York, Thursday August 29, 2013. According to the latest poll by Quinnipiac University, de Blasio is now close to the 40 percent threshold he'd need to avoid a runoff in the Democratic primary.
Photo: Ramin Talaie/? 2013 Ramin Talaie

While Bill de Blasio is still assembling his administration, there’s one person who’s sure to play a big role: his wife Chirlane McCray. They’ve had a uniquely egalitarian political partnership throughout his time in public office, and the New York Times reports they’ve made no attempt to hide that fact, from De Blasio campaign e-mails with subject lines like “This is the word of Chirlane” to her presence in interviews with potential staff members. “She is the most important adviser I have,” De Blasio told the paper on Tuesday. Describing their approach to politics as a “partnership model,” he added, “It has served us very well.”

Many political couples bristle at the suggestion that their partnership is anything like the Clintons’, but De Blasio and McCray don’t seem to mind the suggestion that City Hall will get “two for the price of one.” “We are obviously not like any couple that has been there before,” De Blasio said. Though, so far at least, there are no reports of McCray sparking the same resentment that Hillary did in the nineties. While she’s had significant influence on De Blasio’s political career, her role has been informal and it appears she prefers to hound her husband rather than staffers. “I use whatever means necessary,” she said of her efforts to lobby her husband, adding, “I have been known to badger.”

McCray has been omnipresent during the transition process, and while she has no other job, whether she’ll have a formal position in the De Blasio administration remains undecided. “Right now, it’s just going to a lot of meetings and trying to put things in place,” she told the Daily News. “I don’t know if I’ll have an official role. We’re still thinking and talking about it.”

De Blasio and Wife Don’t Mind Clinton Comparison