vision 2020

De Blasio Campaign Announcement Scooped by High School Journalist

Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio got off to a rough start this week when a pre-campaign event at Trump Tower promoting the NYC Green New Deal was interrupted by supporters of the president yelling “You suck” and holding signs that read “Worst Mayor Ever.” As the week got going, it got worse. On Wednesday, a Facebook post from the local Democratic Party in Iowa announced that “di Blasio” would appear in Sioux City as “the first stop on his Presidential announcement tour.” The post was then broadcast by high-school journalist Gabe Fleisher; the word was out, and the campaign had to push the announcement up a day, according to NBC News.
So, thanks to a mistimed Facebook post and a discerning teenage reader, Bill de Blasio was forced to move up his presidential-campaign announcement to Thursday.

Granted, this isn’t your typical high-school journalism fan: Fleisher writes his own politics newsletter, has over 23,000 Twitter followers, and was profiled in the New York Times, where his email blast was described as a “surprisingly sophisticated, well-researched summary of the day’s political news.” Among his subscribers are correspondents for CBS News and the Daily Show and Jim VandeHei, the co-founder of both Axios and Politico.

It’s unclear if de Blasio will make the bid public on his previously scheduled Thursday appearance on Good Morning America, or if it will occur later in the day. Either way, the mayor will surely highlight his major achievements — like enacting universal pre-K and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour — while ignoring the polling that states that three out of four New Yorkers don’t want him to run. A late entry to the Democratic primary and the 23rd candidate to join the race, de Blasio’s first campaign challenge will be to qualify for the initial debate in June: The debates will feature just 20 candidates for president, and the mayor will need to receive donations from at least 65,000 Americans, or by pulling in at least one percent in three major polls. Even if Gen-Z’s best stay on his side, that’s still a lot to get done in one month.

De Blasio Campaign Announcement Scooped by High Schooler