America has a rather unique role for the wives of Presidents and other office holders -- we designate them “First Ladies” and make available to them the bloody pulpit of their husbands’ office and considerable staff support. At times there is a public benefit: teacher-librarian Laura Bush did considerable work to expand literacy. But then there are times when we rather wish the first would be last among us. Eleanor Roosevelt pestered FDR to reduce his enthusiasm for imperialist Winston Churchill; fortunately for the WWII war effort, her husband paid little heed. Hillary Clinton’s work in the health care field almost brought Bill’s government down -- the arrogant secrecy surrounding its formulation and her love of central government direction were precursors of things to come, and made Obamacare seem like a benign alternative to Hillarycare. Michelle Obama opted for the role of First Parent and directed mothers and fathers what to pack in their kids’ lunch boxes.
Then there is the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, wife of mayor Bill de Blasio. Ms. McCray, whose husband has assigned her a taxpayer funded staff, has taken to dropping in on administration officials meeting to discuss children’s issues, a role the electorate neglected to confer on her. Never mind. At a recent meeting she asked for permission to sing to the assembled pols, and treated them to a lullaby she had used with her own children, presumably to emphasize the importance of music to children. After what could only be characterized as an obligatory round of applause, reports the New York Times, the administration aides “taken with Ms. McCray’s impromptu performance” decided to record her lullaby, which “will soon be featured in a promotion about early childhood development.” Talent will out.
Of course, none of this first lady stuff will be relevant should Hillary Clinton succeed in bringing her family back to the White House, along with her private email server. We have had no experience with a First Gentleman, so one hopes Bill will take Margaret Thatcher’s husband, Denis as a model. Denis always kept out of the limelight: his motto, “Always present, never there.” With the exception of an outburst or two -- refusing to act as escort to Winnie Mandela at an official function being one such. His money-making career ended when his wife became Prime Minister, and she in turn prepared his breakfast whenever her travel schedule permitted. It is, of course, uncertain that Bill has the capacity for self-effacement that Denis exhibited. If Hillary proves a less attractive campaigner than Bill, we may never know.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio once again refused to endorse his former boss, Hillary Clinton, in remarks today. "This is a different country we’re living in right now, and I think we need to hear a vision that relates to this time," de Blasio said.
Earlier today, Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager, Bill de Blasio, passed up an opportunity to endorse his former boss. De Blasio, the mayor of New York City, told NBC's Chuck Todd he'd wait to see "an actual vision" from Clinton before offering his support.
Bill de Blasio ran Hillary Clinton's New York Senate race in 2000. But he's not yet ready to endorse his former boss for president of the United States. He made the comments this morning in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd:
Todd asked, "Are you for her now, unequivocally, or do you want to wait to see if she takes your advice on moving to a more progressive agenda?"
On CNN this morning, the host kissed Mayor Bill de Blasio before she interviewed him, and handed him a cup of hot chocolate:
The other host, Chris Cuomo, complained that he'd been waiting for an hour and a half for his hot cocoa to arrive.
"The mayor comes and the hot cocoa comes," Cuomo complained as his co-host arrived on set in the middle of his interview with de Blasio. "The hot cocoa comes. I've been asking for it for an hour and a half."
WNYW, the local New York City Fox affiliate, reports that New York Police Department officers turned their back on Mayor Bill de Blasio after two of their own were shot execution style earlier today in Brooklyn:
"Look what happened: this is video of the mayor arriving for this evening's press conference on the shooting. You can see officers turning their backs on the mayor as he approached the lectern," said the local host.
The new documentary "Alise vs. the Mayor," produced by the Blaze, concludes with its final episode. Shot against the backdrop of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's fight against providing rent-free public school space to charter schools, the film follows young Alise, a Harlem Success Academy scholar. In the final episode, we see the fallout from de Blasio's standoff against a fellow Democrat, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and how this affects Alise.
New York City has become a central battlefield in the fight over school choice and education reform since Bill de Blasio, an ally of the teachers unions and opponent of charter schools, became mayor in January. De Blasio decided early on in his administration to force out charter schools like Harlem Success Academy (founded by de Blasio's longtime political opponent Eva Moskowitz) from open space in public school buildings. The negative response was overwhelming, with even New York's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo coming out forcefully against de Blasio's anti-charter schools move.