President Obama capped off a day full of foreign affairs drama with a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Waldorf Astoria. During his address, the leader of the free world took a moment to single out Bill de Blasio, who received Obama's endorsement on Monday, as well as de Blasio's son Dante—and Dante's afro.
Obama called de Blasio "the next mayor of New York City" and heralded "his son, Dante, who has the same hairdo I had back in 1978—although I have to confess, my afro was never that good. It was a little unbalanced."
De Blasio's campaign manager Bill Hyers took a photograph of the historic meeting and snapped a final one of Dante sitting at a laptop, "Man, Dante's not wasting any time. Study-break to shake hands with the President then straight back to homework."
Obama's endorsement comes as de Blasio faces criticism from mayoral rival Joe Lhota for his support of the Sandinistas in the late '80s. The NY Times reports that Lhota "showed no signs of backing down, accusing Mr. de Blasio, who as a young man had admired Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government, of dishonoring New Yorkers who had escaped 'Marxist tyranny.'"
De Blasio said in an interview with PIX11 earlier in the day, "I think the U.S. policies at that time were wrong. This is something I’ve been open about for years. I was very proud to be involved in that work because I think the United States funding the Contra forces in Central America, intervening in other countries — I think that was bad policy. That was Reagan-Bush policy that was failed and the fact is, people in this country turned against it."
At the fundraiser, Obama said of de Blasio, "We could not be prouder of the campaign Bill ran, the way he gave voice to the values that make us Democrats. And we are confident that he is going to continue to move New York in a direction where everybody has a chance to get ahead. And so we're very proud of him and look forward to seeing him do a great job as the mayor of New York City."