NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is turning to a fellow progressive, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) for help as the mayor begins his second term at City Hall.
As WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp reported, Sanders – Hillary Clinton’s chief rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, will swear in de Blasio on New Year’s Day. The mayor ran Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign and endorsed her in the 2016 primary, but he emphasized Sanders’ values Friday.
“To me, I thought about the moment and what I wanted to say to people in this moment, as I started a second term,” de Blasio said. “And I wanted to make clear that we remained committed to addressing income inequality and creating a fairer city and no one personified that better than Bernie Sanders.”
De Blasio also addressed his choice to have Sanders swear him in during his weekly “Ask the Mayor” segment on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer Show” Friday.
“I’ve gotten to know Bernie and Jane Sanders over the last year or two. I have immense respect for what he has done for this country. And also, he is a proud son of Brooklyn, and someone we should all be proud of for what he has achieved, and so I asked him if he would be willing to swear me in, and I’m honored that he has chosen to do it,” de Blasio said on the program.
Lehrer followed up, “(You) didn’t make a deal like, he’ll swear you in if you don’t run against him for the Democratic presidential nomination?”
“You know, Brian, you have a lurid imagination,” de Blasio replied. “Look, Bernie is very proud of his roots in New York City. I won’t speak for him, but I can just tell you, I think he’s proud of his roots I New York City. I think participating in something that is such an important part of New York City life means something to him humanly, but also, I have immense respect for what he’s done.”
Four years ago, former President Bill Clinton swore de Blasio in, with Hillary Clinton in the audience. It is not clear if the Clintons will be in the audience this time.
Speaking to WCBS 880, de Blasio vowed that his second inauguration would be “modest,” while he faces new battles in 2018 over everything from his so-called millionaires’ tax plan to help fix mass transit, to the fate of controversial monuments.
But his New Year’s resolution is simple.
“My hope is to do better work in 2018 and keep learning and keep growing,” the mayor said.