Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio’s poll numbers remain low—and he’s at risk of not qualifying for the fundraising threshold for the September debate—but on television at least, the mayor’s longshot bid for the presidency is continuing full throttle. Last week de Blasio was on Fox News sparring with Sean Hannity. This week he found a friendlier setting: The Daily Show.
During a 20-minute interview on Wednesday night, Trevor Noah gave the candidate plenty of time to discuss his platform and ideas. But he started things off by lightly teasing de Blasio for… you know, ditching the city. “I feel like you’re on the campaign trail all the time now,” Noah said. “Is that a shift in what you do? You’re the mayor. You’re normally here every single day, doing mayor-mayor things.” You could detect a slight defensive tone in de Blasio’s reply: “I still do a lot of mayor-mayor things. Because it’s a job that’s literally 24-7. You can never, ever stop thinking about it.”
Still, it’s a criticism that follows the mayor, especially in situations such as the major power outage that struck Manhattan while he was busy campaigning in Iowa. The Daily Show host then asked why anyone would subject themselves to the simultaneous scrutiny of being both mayor and presidential candidate: “Are you just a sucker for punishment?”
“There's a place in this world for masochism, there really is,” de Blasio answered, which is the best summation of his presidential campaign we’ve heard yet. (Can this be his new slogan?)
— Marcus J. DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) August 12, 2019
The mayor also boasted heartily about his various mayoral achievements—raising the minimum wage, establishing universal prekindergarten. The most serious portion of the interview arrived when Noah asked him about the lack of justice in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a topic that was directly raised by hecklers during de Blasio’s recent debate performance. (An administrative judge recently recommended that the NYPD officer who choked Garner be fired; it's been five years since Garner's death.)
De Blasio acknowledged that the situation has been “awful for the Garner family” but defended the police department’s own justice system. “The law says I am not to interfere in that process, and I believe that by not interfering in that process, we will get to an outcome,” the mayor stated. “I believe it will be fair, it will be impartial, and then it will stick. And this extraordinarily painful chapter will be over once and for all.”
Watch the full interview here: