De Blasio is trapped in a singular no-man's-land. Bloomberg had the elites and the upper middle class; Giuliani had his white outer-borough ethnics. To all of these people, de Blasio is a feckless socialist. And to many of his old allies — and the leftists who never trusted him in the first place — he is a Hillary Clinton in Elizabeth Warren's clothing.
Emblematic of this struggle, and maybe of de Blasio's entire mayoralty, was his belated decision to back Clinton for president. She announced her campaign in April 2015; he hemmed and hawed until October. No one really believed that de Blasio, the campaign manager for her 2000 Senate bid, would endorse Bernie Sanders, and his delayed choice was widely mocked — even by Clinton, during their excruciating "CP time" skit at the annual Inner Circle dinner. But according to City Hall sources, de Blasio actually did come genuinely close to endorsing Sanders, only to have top aides, including Emma Wolfe, talk him out of it. As the presidential primary descended on New York this April, de Blasio, frozen out of Clintonland for insufficient loyalty and bereft of the adulation progressives showered on Sanders, had nowhere left to go.
Now his potential 2017 rivals salivate. Comptroller Scott Stringer would primary him now if he knew he could win. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries have Cuomo cooing in their ears. De Blasio can't buy support or deference like Bloomberg could, and he's never been overwhelmingly popular since he took office. Had he embraced his progressive conscience fully and endorsed Sanders, he could at least have tapped into a whole new universe of donors, a wave of millennials thrilled to have their own Bernie acolyte in stodgy City Hall. Imagine if Sanders deigned to email a fundraising appeal on behalf of his besieged Brooklyn buddy?
Read the whole piece by Barkan - it's quite fair to de Blasio and pretty instructive of why he's in the mess he's in.
As for Stringer, I say he should throw his hat in the ring if he's so eager to run against de Blasio.
Show some guts, have at it while the mayor's down (and maybe almost out) and the governor's actively looking for primary challengers against de Blasio.