New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio keeps putting himself in walk-on roles in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, a WikiLeaks dump of hacked emails to and from campaign chairman John Podesta featured apparently unsolicited backroom advice from the mayor himself.
Back in March, it seems de Blasio was quick to criticize her reply to a question on mass incarceration during one of her primary debates with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Hillary was fantastic on the gun control answer,” typed the mayor, her onetime campaign manager for U.S. Senate.
But she “then totally blew the mass incarceration question,” de Blasio said.
He complained to Podesta: “Why on Earth did she say ‘Are you going to ask Senator [Bernie] Sanders that question?’ instead of just addressing the issue. When she makes it about her, she loses the high ground. Stating the obvious, I know, but she keeps doing it . . . ”
Funny thing: Just recently de Blasio did something similar in public to what he criticized Clinton doing in private. Rather than “just addressing” a reporter’s question, he made it about himself and the publication involved.
Specifically, he denounced the New York Post as a “right-wing rag” that employs the scribe for propaganda purposes, and he declined to answer, turning instead to others in the room.
De Blasio’s snit had long precedent — such as Mayor Ed Koch suggesting someone burn down the Village Voice.
The whole de Blasio-Clinton nexus has been creating a special dose of political fodder since last year when he delayed endorsing her, to the overwrought concerns of many fellow Democrats. De Blasio finally did so last October.
At one point de Blasio planned to organize a forum for candidates in Iowa, but nobody signed up, so it was canceled.
Another email of mayoral relevance surfaced involving Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide who wrote of de Blasio in a memo titled “progressive friends:”
“I stay in touch with him and his team a lot. He has recently asked to have increased direct access to her so he can tell his progressive partners what she thinks about issues important to them.
“He also thinks he can be most helpful to her if he has that kind of relationship. He wants to be seen as the loudest progressive voice for her and in order to do that he needs access.”
Abedin then adds: “In the next 6 months, someone else will have to inherit this relationship because it will not be tenable for HRC.”
Other emails showed something very un-exotic, such as keeping the campaign briefed from his mayoral Blackberry on appearances about income inequality and his telling Sanders he’d endorse Clinton.
Expect another cameo or two from the ever-campaigning mayor as next month’s election approaches.