vision 2020

Bill de Blasio’s Aimless Day at the Iowa State Fair

BDB wins a stuffed pig, but not much else. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The legend of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign in Iowa continues to grow. Back in February he apparently ignored weather reports and got stuck in a tiny northwest town during a snowstorm, taking shelter at a Super 8 motel and dining on a gas-station burrito.

Hizzoner’s sojourn at the Iowa State Fair yesterday gave him a much better range of unhealthy food options. But it’s unclear whether or not it did his candidacy much good. The New York Post, which loves to follow BdB’s campaign outings as a sort of comical blood sport, had this report:

Hizzoner’s visited the Iowa State Fair as part of his quixotic bid for the White House Sunday, where he scarfed down high-fat foods and played carnival games — scoring himself a stuffed swine in Skee-Ball.

“This is a harbinger of things to come,” said de Blasio, holding the hog skyward. “All things are possible.”

Hizzoner then took the soapbox at the bellwether event — receiving scattered applause from a sedate crowd that was roughly one-tenth the size of the one that had watched Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just minutes before.

“I love the Iowa State Fair!” bellowed de Blasio.

So do I, but then again, I’m not running for president. Like 22 other presidential candidates, the mayor was scheduled to speak at the Des Moines Register’s “soapbox” stage at the Fair; his appearance was at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The idea for candidates is to get in and out of the Fair as efficiently as possible, without giving the impression that they find the dusty fairgrounds and its aggressively down-home attractions anything less than scintillating. In 2015, in what was considered a very bad sign, Jeb Bush spent over four hours at the Fair despite the frantic efforts of staff to bust him out of there. Bill de Blasio left that record far behind, it appears:

Jeb Bush, of course, was constantly surrounded by media and curious Iowans checking out the latest scion of the great presidential family. BdB had the luxury of relative anonymity, probably appearing to those in his path — or standing in the corndog line with him — as an unusually tall schmo:

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

De Blasio’s soapbox speech was a fiery attack on moderates who don’t seem to understand that beating Donald Trump requires getting Democrats psyched out of their skulls about “big, bold change.” But coming right after Bernie Sanders spoke, BdB’s speech probably came across as What he said. And thanks to an accident of timing, the only thing de Blasio said that made news was his call for a “full investigation” into the death of Jeffrey Epstein in a federal jail in Manhattan on Saturday.

Bad timing, though, seems to be a chronic problem for the mayor’s campaign, beginning with the fact that he appears to have chosen the wrong year to run for president.

Bill de Blasio’s Aimless Day at the Iowa State Fair