National News

Bernie Sanders to Preside at de Blasio’s 2nd Inauguration

Posted December 27, 2017 8:03 p.m. EST

NEW YORK — When Mayor Bill de Blasio is sworn in for a second term Monday, the oath will be administered by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — a choice that perhaps reflects the shifting political winds in the Democratic Party.

Four years ago, the former President Bill Clinton administered the oath, with Hillary Clinton looking on.

At the time, Hillary Clinton was the smart-money pick to become the next president. That didn’t work out.

Along the way, de Blasio was late to endorse her 2016 presidential campaign, as other progressive Democrats were flocking to Sanders. After Clinton lost to Donald Trump last November, de Blasio consummated his embrace of Sanders and the Democratic Party’s left wing.

Sanders’ presence may further speculation that de Blasio has his gaze on goals beyond New York City. Despite criticism, de Blasio has persisted in seeking a national political role for himself. He has made himself a liberal foil for Trump, taking him on over issues like immigration and tax policy.

Earlier this month de Blasio traveled to Iowa, where he spoke before Progress Iowa, a group that, like the mayor, wants to steer Democratic politics to the left. He has denied that he plans to run for president, but paying visits to Iowa — the state that traditionally holds the first presidential nominating contest — is a common gambit for presidential hopefuls.

“Sen. Sanders’ progressive leadership has helped reshape the American political debate in favor of men and women long left out of our city and nation’s prosperity,” de Blasio said in a statement released Wednesday.