De Blasio continues to tease presidential run in New Hampshire

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MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mayor Bill de Blasio took his presidential tease tour to a new audience Saturday, coming to this key early presidential contest – but again refusing to answer the key question: When will he decide if the White House is a better fit than Gracie Mansion?

“Sooner rather than later,” de Blasio said, reiterating an answer he and First Lady Chirlane McCray have given repeatedly in recent days.

And no matter the way reporters phrased the question, de Blasio wouldn’t budge.

“Sooner rather than later,” he again reiterated.

But it was evident from the hour de Blasio and McCray spent with about 30 Democratic activists at a bar in the downtown of the Granite State’s biggest city that the pair are giving the idea serious consideration, despite mediocre poll numbers and brutal headlines back home.

His speech was littered with practiced lines that played well to the small room – and that evidence preparation is underway.

“When it comes to the wealth that working people create, they don’t get back anything like what they create,” de Blasio said. “Now, I wish I could tell you this is by accident, I wish I could tell you this just happened.”

“It is not an accident, it is an agenda,” he added, hitting the populist economic notes that have proven popular among Democratic candidates in the early days of the 2020 contest.

De Blasio also touted McCray’s mental health initiative, Thrive NYC, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as projected spending for the effort heads towards $1 billion while the city’s homelessness crisis rages on.

Hizzoner and the First Lady began their Saturday in Manchester sitting down New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley at a downtown restaurant, which was followed by appetizers with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and her husband, Michael.

All parties demurred when asked to provide specifics of their conversations.

De Blasio’s White House tease provides an escape from the cascade of scandal and controversy back in New York City.

In recent months, the federal government imposed a new watchdog and took partial control over the city’s embattled public housing authority. Federal prosecutors also ensnared two major campaign donors in a sprawling police department corruption case. Meanwhile, controversy continues over his plans to overhaul entrance requirements to the city’s most prestigious public high schools.

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