New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, May 16, that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, adding his name to an already long list of candidates itching for a chance to take on President Trump.
The mayor announced his run with a video released by his campaign.
“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands,” de Blasio says at the beginning of the video.
He concludes, “I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”
In announcing his candidacy, de Blasio seeks to claim a role on the national stage that has eluded him as mayor of the biggest U.S. city.
When he took office in 2014, de Blasio seemed briefly poised to become a leading voice for an emerging left wing of the Democratic Party.
But liberal enthusiasm faded over his first term, partly because of political missteps at home and the emergence of bigger names elsewhere. He could face obstacles trying to distinguish himself in a crowded field.
De Blasio, 58, has drawn small audiences so far in visits to early primary states including Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire, where an audience of six showed up for a mental health discussion.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 76 percent of New York City voters say they believe he shouldn’t run.
De Blasio’s hometown press has, so far, delighted in disparaging his presidential hopes.
“De Blasio for President? ‘Nah,'” read one recent New York Times headline summing up the city’s reaction to his possible candidacy.
“Who hasn’t told Bill de Blasio that he shouldn’t run for president?” asked New York Magazine.
De Blasio, though, has remained undaunted by the obstacles and said he believes he has a message that can resonate with the American public.
Political observers said that even if de Blasio’s candidacy doesn’t catch fire, he’ll be able to promote his policies and potentially angle for a job in a future Democratic administration. He is barred by term limits from running for mayor again.