First, as expected, Hakeem Jeffries declined to run against de Blasio:
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat, said Tuesday he will not run for mayor of New York City — leaving one less potential challenger for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he faces re-election later this year.
"The stakes are so high in Washington D.C. right now, and I want to be part of the effort to turn the situation around," Jeffries said in an interview. "It would be a dereliction of duty to abandon ship at the moment when times are tough."
Jeffries said de Blasio has benefited from the election of President Donald Trump, and the palpable anger and fear in New York City toward the president. More than 80 percent of the city's voters voted against Trump, and de Blasio has positioned himself in the city as standing up to Trump on immigration and other issues.
"The phenomenon has benefited the mayor because it's taken a lot of attention off of City Hall," Jeffries said.
Jeffries said "top-tier candidates" are still looking to the investigations to see if they "potentially change the dynamic."
"It's not clear to me that there's a meaningful candidate prepared to step forward at the moment," he said.
Next up, GOP hopeful/real estate developer Paul Massey had a press conference today that, well, let's just say didn't go so well. Here's a play-by-play in tweets:
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey holds press conference at City Hall, criticizing Mayor de Blasio for "unprecedented" corruption pic.twitter.com/A7Pt14m5AZ— Samar Khurshid (@samarkhurshid) February 21, 2017
New York GOP mayoral candidate Paul Massey declines to offer policy specifics in first campaign event. Hello 2017 https://t.co/JvTAzUmfqG— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) February 21, 2017
"We'll make it different almost immediately," Massey says when @chayesmatthew presses him for details on his homelessness plan— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) February 21, 2017
"I haven't established an answer," Paul Massey says when Bloomberg's @hgoldman77 asks if he supports expanding stop and frisk like Trump— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) February 21, 2017
Less than 9 months to Election Day, it's surprising that @MasseyForMayor hasn't identified a position on this core criminal justice issue. https://t.co/GjSmbIljIF— Dean Chang (@dchangnyt) February 21, 2017
@HyersBill Was on life support anyway since GOP real estate developer not great candidate for Trump Era. But yikes!— rbe (@perdidostschool) February 21, 2017
And so, we appear to have two potential challengers to de Blasio taken out of the equation in one day.
It's been rumored for a while now that Jeffries, who has been elevated into the Democratic leadership in the House, was going to decline to run for mayor, so that announcement wasn't much of a surprise.
But the Massey presser, well, that was a bit of a surprise to me.
Given that we're now in the Trump Era, it was going to be a heavy lift for Massey, a Republican real estate developer, to win post November 2016, but to be honest, I always assumed he was a bit more serious as a candidate than what showed up today. How could he not have an answer for the stop-and-frisk issue?
You can see the whole Massey presser here at his Facebook page - assuming they don't take it down to try and undo some of the damage.
Go on and watch it and you tell me if he's somebody who can win a mayor's race in NYC during the Trump Era - from what I see so far, it's unlikely.
As for other potential opponents, Scott Stringer has apparently all but ruled out a run (barring something extraordinary coming from the Southern District of New York on de Blasio) and the air around Ruben Diaz Jr. has grown awfully quiet on that front as well.
That leaves this guy who raised $750 last quarter and left the mainstream Democratic conference in the state Senate to join the breakaway, Republican-allied Independent Democratic Conference, a group of faux Dems growing increasingly unpopular in the Trump Era:
And maybe this guy:
Councilman Dan Garodnick, a Manhattan Democrat who lost his bid to become the City Council Speaker in 2014, has talked with donors, consultants and others about running for mayor. Garodnick has told these people he would want a one-on-one race with de Blasio and would be interested if he saw a path, but isn't sure if there is one.
Asked about the conversations, Garodnick declined to comment. "I am exploring my options as I am term-limited," he said. Garodnick had previously denied he was considering a mayoral run.
Oh, and an ex-Jet with about as much chance of winning City Hall as the Jets had of winning the Super Bowl last year.
And there was that rumor about Hillary Clinton maybe running for mayor, but that's pretty much bullshit.
None of this is going to matter in a race against de Blasio where he has managed to make labor peace with the cops, other unions (including the UFT) have endorsed him, and he continues to enjoy popular support in the black community.
So from what I can see, the biggest opponent de Blasio appears to have for re-election right now is U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
No wonder the UFT jumped aboard the de Blasio Express when they did.
Barring something coming from Bharara, it looks like de Blasio is going to waltz to November relatively unscathed.
Somewhere Bradley Tusk weeps.