Bill de Blasio’s tenure as mayor of New York City will officially begin on New Year’s Day, before the steps of City Hall, and with President Bill Clinton holding the Bible on which he will be sworn into office.
De Blasio’s transition team announced the presence of both Clinton’s at the ceremony on Saturday, with the former President presiding over the key inaugural act. “I was honored to serve in President Clinton’s administration and on Secretary Clinton’s campaign for U. S. Senate,” de Blasio said in a statement announcing their presence at the inaugural, “and I am honored again that they will both join our celebration for all of New York City.” He also tweeted out an old photo of his family with the Clintons expressing his gratitude for their presence. De Blasio will be using a Bible owned by another former president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
De Blasio has long-standing ties to the Clintons, having been campaign manager to then-Senator Hillary Clinton in her 2000 run for office. While de Blasio was ultimately run out of the campaign for being too indecisive and lacking leadership skills, the Clintons remained in touch with de Blasio and aided his campaign this year. They became particularly publicabout their support of de Blasio after the campaign of Anthony Weiner, over whose wedding Bill Clinton presided, imploded and yielded way to de Blasio as the Democratic candidate. De Blasio received the endorsement of both Clintons during what the duo called a “thoughtful, creative” campaign after having established himself as the Democratic general election candidate and received their help first-hand, with the former Secretary of State headlining a fundraiser for the Mayor-elect that raked in a million dollars at the glamorous Roosevelt Hotel. He also mentioned the Clintons’ support often during the campaign, and in having the former President swear him in, stands out as a high-profile affair compared to most modern mayors. The New York Times notes that both Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani were sworn in by New York judges.
Bill de Blasio was elected this autumn on an especially left-wing platform that contained significant reforms in public housing and social safety nets. He promised on the campaign to use the “heavy hand of government” to help the city’s poor, and has very strong ties to unions and community organizing groups like the SEIU and ACORN splinter groups. Many expect banning horse-drawn carriages in Central Park to become a major issue he will champion in City Hall due to his record supporting animal rights initiatives.
The Clintons, meanwhile, have remained in the public eye since stepping down from their respective public offices. The former Secretary of State, in particular, has drawn much attention as a potential candidate for the presidency in 2016. With some of the highest-profile Democrats that could challenge Clinton’s run stepping aside (for now), supporters in Hollywood are already gearing up to promote her candidacy, while Clinton herself remains mum, though public. Current polls have her losing nationally to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, also expected by many to make a run for the White House.
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