Despite dismal polling numbers and a clumsy misstep following his first debate performance in Miami, Mayor Bill de Blasio opted to spend the Fourth of July in Iowa and Texas, as he soldiers on in an increasingly out-of-reach presidential campaign that has sparked a backlash from his constituents in New York.
“I’m a half-glass-full kind of guy,” de Blasio said Wednesday in a interview with The Gazette, a daily newspaper in Cedar Rapids.
But as the Gazette story went on to note, a poll released Monday by Suffolk University showed that de Blasio had garnered zero support among 500 likely Iowa voters. Other broader polls have similarly showed the city's mayor as failing to register in the minds of a broad swath of American voters and he continues to score high unfavorability ratings.
Back in his hometown, critics once again seized on the chance to point out the mayor’s absence at key events.
He attended the wake but missed the Wednesday funeral for Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective and 9/11 responder who, following a cancer diagnoses, fought to pass a bill in Congress to provide health benefits for police, firefighters and emergency workers.
While in Iowa, the mayor instead made a point of retweeting the NYPD's salutes to Alvarez.
For as long as he was here, Lou Alvarez was "still breathing, still fighting." And for as long as we're here, we‘ll remember his valiance in the aftermath of September 11th, as well as his fight for all survivors. Never forget his legacy of tenacity & heroism. Fidelis ad Mortem. pic.twitter.com/Xl4heDjrjq
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 3, 2019
De Blasio also drew political jeers for skipping the chance to preside over Wednesday’s annual weigh-in for the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island.
Daily News reports on our “thin-skinned” @NYCMayor skipping the weigh-in for the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest—instead, @BilldeBlasio “grilled” Iowans on why support for his campaign is among the “wurst.” Happy 4th of July everybody! https://t.co/5Lbp2WQFbK
— NYCPBA-GC (@NYCPBA_GC) July 4, 2019
"Despite saying he was “honored” to be part of a “great #NYC tradition,” #deBlasio skipped every weigh-in since" -- In other words, #BillDeBlasio is self-centered narcissist who doesn't care about city he was "elected" to "serve." #ConeyIsland #NathansHotDogEatingContest
— TruthIsLikeTheSun (@LostInAmerica77) July 3, 2019
In his entire two terms, the mayor has officiated the tradition only once. The carnival fanfare is an old-school NYC fixture, ripe for pun-making as demonstrated by his predecessor Michael Bloomberg, who did it 11 of the 12 years he was in office and topped it off with a final speech that contained 15 hot dog puns. (The men's dog-eating competition airs on ESPN at noon today.)
According to the Gazette, de Blasio, who has been accused of being a poor excuse for a New Yorker, intends “to try as many pork tenderloin sandwiches as he can.”
“That’s my kind of food,” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t know about Iowa bagels, but I do know about Iowa pork tenderloin sandwiches.”