Make it two presidential surprises. On the same day President Obama was “surprised and humbled” to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Bill Thompson sent out an email saying he was “grateful and encouraged” that the president was endorsing his run for mayor.
It’s not totally surprising, given that President Obama is a Democrat and so is Bill Thompson. Mr. Thompson is also trying to become the city’s first black mayor, so there’s that too. But Obama has worked closely with Mayor Bloomberg, so there was some speculation that the president might sit out the mayor’s race–especially since his recent foray into New York state politics doesn’t seem to have gone as planned.
It’s unclear how much the endorsement will mean to voters, and whether Mr. Obama will actively campaign or fundraise for Mr. Thompson, but regardless, it should help out in four of the five boroughs–where Obama picked up more than 75 percent of the vote last year. (Staten Island, you may recall, went for McCain.)
Here’s Thompson’s statement in full:
“I am grateful and encouraged to receive the support of the President of the United States, especially on the day that Barack Obama is named a Nobel Prize Winner. It is a point of personal pride to receive this endorsement since I made my final decision to run for mayor of this great city while waiting on line to vote for President Obama. New Yorkers supported President Obama in historic numbers on November 4, 2008 and I look forward to that same support on November 3, 2009. I am deeply honored and thank our President for his support and confidence that I will be the next mayor of New York City.”