President Obama may be getting involved in local contests, but there’s one he hasn’t touched so far: the New York City mayor’s race.
Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson often says he hopes to build the “second largest” grass-roots campaign New York City has ever seen, behind the one assembled here for Obama, and paints his campaign for City Hall as an extension of the “change” voters sought when they voted for Obama last year.
But to date, Obama has not signaled his support for the Democratic nominee. Obama did publicly recognize Thompson during a speech at the N.A.A.C.P. centennial celebration here in July, but by that time, the president had already referred to Bloomberg as “outstanding.”
Some Thompson supporters want the White House and national Democrats to end their appearances with Bloomberg and start campaigning for Thompson.
“The Democratic National Committee is going to be evaluated on the three most important races this year, in Virginia, New Jersey and New York City,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of R.W.D.S.U., and a major Thompson supporter, said in an interview yesterday.
“It’s important for the Democratic Party that Bill Thompson be elected. Support from the Democratic Party, nationally, may be enough to put him over the line and they have as much at stake as Bill Thompson.”
Thompson trails Bloomberg in public opinion polls and is being heavily outspent.
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. said, “He decided to get involved, now he has no choice. He has to support the person, the Democratic candidate for mayor. If he doesn’t, then I would question his sincerity with being concerned with the Democratic Party’s future. If he’s concerned, he’s concerned all the way. He cannot do it for Paterson and not support Billy Thompson.”