Although she is stepping down as secretary of state at the end of President Obama’s first term, Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t want Hillary Clinton to end her political career.
More specifically, he thinks she should replace him as New York City’s mayor.
According to the New York Times, a few months ago Bloomberg called up the former first lady and urged her to consider a run in the 2013 race.
He reportedly told her she would be “a perfect fit,” but Clinton, who represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009, said no.
If she had said yes, Clinton would have had to establish New York City residency before she ran.
“He is looking for somebody he can feel comfortable handing the reins over to,” Hank Sheinkopf, a New York City political operative who worked on Mr. Bloomberg’s last campaign, told the Times.
Though the race isn’t lacking likely Democratic candidates, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John C. Liu, Bloomberg’s call to Clinton may mean he isn’t confident in any of them, even Quinn, whom he is expected to endorse.
At a press conference today marking the groundbreaking of Hudson Yards, where Bloomberg and Quinn both spoke, he complimented Quinn on the job she’s done leading the city council and said she has made an enormous amount of difference.
With both politicians at the event, Bloomberg’s call to Clinton inevitably came up, but he didn’t deny or confirm the report, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Why do you think I encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for mayor? I mean, were you — did you hear me say that?,” he said.
When asked if he was unhappy with the current list of likely mayoral candidates, Bloomberg refused to comment and insisted that a media-driven fight between Quinn and himself was never going to happen, the publication also reported.
But Quinn did discuss Clinton’s qualifications for mayor, stating that the secretary of state would “excel in any position she ever takes.”