Four would-be candidates for New York City mayor have come to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., not only to support President Barack Obama, but also to discreetly boost their own bids for City Hall among the rest of New York State delegation. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
If the Time Warner Cable Arena in Downtown Charlotte is about the 2012 presidential election, a hotel a few miles away is also about the 2013. There, would-be candidates to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg are schmoozing and networking.
"2013 is in some ways a lot like 2012. It's a discussion of ideas," said mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.
"Some of these situations you actually see more people from the city congregated in one place than you ever would when you're in the city," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, another mayoral candidate.
In addition to Thompson and de Blasio, another City Hall contender, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, is in Charlotte.
"If we lose Barack Obama, we have the real likelihood of having a president in Mitt Romney who doesn't have urban America on his agenda," said Quinn.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is also eyeing a run for mayor, is attending the convention.
"I actually think that New York plays a vital role in the national politics. We have a whole lot of money, we've got a lot of troops, we've got some great unions that are spreading around the country," said Stringer.
Unions play a bigger role locally, in the Democratic primary.
"They're coming up to us, and I know each and every candidate," said Greg Floyd of Local 237.
Observers say running for mayor before the presidential election also requires a certain "wink wink, nudge nudge." On the one hand, you want to gin up buzz for yourself, not to mention raise some money. On the other, you can't come across as being thinking about anything other than four more years for the president.
It's familiar to former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields. She did the same thing in 2004, and she says she may have been too coy about pushing her bid for mayor the following year.
"You're going to keep that line between running for office and doing your job. But I say, let it be known," Fields said.
She had more advice for de Blasio: Keep wearing those nice ties. It gets the conversation going.
One potential mayoral hopeful who is not in Charlotte is City Comptroller John Liu. He is on an overseas trip. His campaign has struggled with legal issues and the state Democratic Party didn't make him a delegate.
A spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo denied that move was done at his request.