As Charlie Brown would say:
Yes, folks, its the silly season where all kinds of political speculation and paper-thin reporting can get big play. Stories can be generated by a story — no matter how unlikely it is to become reality or if it’s really a bunch of this — because then it’s picked up by s-e-r-i-o-u-s political reporters, becomes a topic on the increasingly tiresome and predictable ideological political shows on MSNBC or Fox News, or treated with seriousness by CNN, which still tries to position itself as doing traditional journalism. And so we have the latest example of this (SIGH) from the New York Post, suggesting that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is positioning himself to be a liberal alternative to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who those in the Democratic Party’s liberal wing feel is just too moderate:
Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Mayor Bill de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Wall Street-friendly Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The Post.
So off the bat we are seeing a story based on O-N-E unnamed Democratic “operative.”
De Blasio’s hope, the operative said, is a “Draft de Blasio’’ movement will develop among progressive activists over the next several months that will lead to the mayor being able to defeat Clinton in the primary elections next year in much the same way leftist Sen. George McGovern successfully challenged the initially front-running establishment Democratic candidate, Sen. Edmund Muskie, more than 40 years ago.
Standing ready to back de Blasio against Clinton, said the operative, is the state’s small but influential Working Families Party, which has strong ties to de Blasio and is funded by some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions.
Earlier this year, the New York-based WFP urged Massachusetts Senator and Wall Street-bashing “progressive’’ favorite Elizabeth Warren to challenge Clinton and run for president — but she has repeatedly said she won’t do so.
“With Warren saying she’s not running, de Blasio and his advisers are trying to position the mayor as the ‘draft’ candidate for the left in 2016. That’s why he refused to endorse Hillary last week,’’ contended the operative, who is involved in presidential politics.
The draft effort explains why deBlasio was accompanied last week on his “progressive” speech-making trip to Iowa by John Del Cecato, one of the nation’s most important Democratic communications strategists and the man responsible for the popular “Dante” TV spot that helped get de Blasio elected mayor, said the operative.
“Why would your ad maker be traveling with you in a non-campaign year? Why was he there with de Blasio in Iowa unless you’re trying for something bigger?’’ asked the operative.
And — more speculation — that Del Cecato, a longtime advisor to Barack Obama, might have a personal motive to help draft DeBlasio.
For Del Cecato, an expert in Iowa politics and a longtime campaign adviser to
Del Cecato was described by the operative as “part of the faction of Obama advisers who still deeply dislike and deeply distrust Clinton’’ dating from the time the two faced off in the Democratic primaries in 2008.
And there’s more. Read it in full.
Several things about this:
!. So tell me. Exactly when was the last time a first term mayor of a city was elected President?
2. One source? This is a story based on an “operative.” I didn’t get the big bucks working on a newspaper in a city as big as NYC. But when I worked on the newspapers in Wichita, Kansas, and San Diego, CA, and when I freelanced for publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Daily News from India, Bangladesh, and Spain in the 1970s none of these papers’ editors would have EVER run a story that was supposed to be a story that’ll bust this town wide open based based on a SINGLE SOURCE. They would have insisted I get several corroborating sources and would not have run it until I did so.
3. Was the real writer of this story Dick Morris?
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.