Without question, Bernie Sanders is at the point in his campaign for the presidency where he needs to broaden his coalition and pick up some endorsements from elected officials who can help him look credible as a national party leader, not just an insurgent gadfly. But I’m not sure development, as reported by the New York Times, quite fills the bill:
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, whose brief presidential campaign failed to get off the ground last year, will endorse Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the Democratic nomination, according to people familiar with the plans. The timing of Mr. de Blasio’s announcement was still being hashed out on Friday. …
Mr. de Blasio was expected to travel with Mr. Sanders on Sunday and Monday in Nevada, where they will appear together at canvassing events ahead of the caucuses there on Feb. 22.
I’m wondering who’s doing whom the favor, particularly after reading this line in the Washington Examiner:
It’s a move de Blasio hopes will propel himself to national relevance, those familiar with his plans told Politico, and comes five months after he ended his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
It was nice of the Examiner to omit the usual derisive adjectives for BDB’s 2020 campaign, such as “much-mocked” and “disastrous.”
Seriously, though, you have to wonder why (or perhaps if) the Sanders campaign would want to deploy Hizzoner in Nevada when it has New Yorkers who have not lost “national relevance” on call, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And even if Team Bernie sees value in de Blasio’s testimony on his behalf, wouldn’t it be wiser to save it for down the road when Sanders may be in a cage match for the nomination with BDB’s predecessor, on whose record he is an authentic expert? Or perhaps for New York’s own primary in April?
We’ll know soon enough how real and prominent this new partnership becomes. For now we can just hope with Sanders that de Blasio is better as a presidential campaign trail surrogate than he was as a candidate.