Monday's inauguration ceremonies will feature less fanfare than his first inauguration four years ago. But Mayor de Blasio has grabbed headlines with his intriguing choice to administer the oath of office. Here's political reporter Bobby Cuza with a preview.
The mayor’s first inauguration ceremony feels like a long time ago. Bill Clinton administered the oath of office at a grand, pomp-filled ceremony on a day that was elaborately choreographed from the time the mayor arrived, to the post-ceremony photo line that allowed him to connect with the masses.
"This time, with a second term, I think it's a whole different reality," the mayor said. "We've had a mandate, I've said it from the beginning to my team, to keep it as modest as possible. We're not looking to do anything fancy here."
According to the mayor's office, this year's scaled-down event will have between 1,000 and 1,500 spectators, at an approximate price tag of $200,000, roughly half the cost in 2014. But the most stark difference is the guest of honor. Bill and Hillary are out; Bernie Sanders, her old primary rival, is in, personally tapped by the mayor to swear him in.
Despite a shared ideology, de Blasio opted not to back Sanders for president, instead belatedly embracing Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton knows how to do it, will get it done, and has a progressive platform," he said during the campaign.
But he's since closely aligned himself with Sanders, even sharing a subway ride.
"I tell you one thing: his campaign last time changed the entire debate in this country," the mayor said after the election.
De Blasio is also forgoing an inauguration committee, which last time included two top donors, later charged with corruption, who would claim to have bought influence from the mayor. Also unlike 2014 —we can expect no awkward jabs at the mayor's predecessor — though in a repeat, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James will be sworn in, this time for their second terms.
And the arctic chill that marked the last ceremony has returned, though this time even fiercer.