The city of New York is playing an outsized role in providing
2020 presidential candidates, including the incumbent Republican
Donald Trump (Queens), Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders
(Brooklyn), Democratic rising figure Michael Bloomberg
(former New York mayor in Manhattan), and the current mayor
(now withdrawn from the race), Bill DeBlasio.
(It was even the birthplace (Manhattan) of the recently elected
Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson!)
It’s not that New Yorkers have not figured prominently in cycles
past. Theodore Roosevelt and Donald Trump were the only New
York City natives who were actually elected president. Al Smith
(Democrat) from Manhattan was nominated, but lost. DeWitt
Clinton (Federalist), Franklin Roosevelt (Democrat) and Hillary
Clinton (Democrat) were born or lived in the New York City
exurbs --- although only Franklin Rooseveltvbecame president.
Martin Van Buren (Whig) and Grover Cleveland (Democrat) were
presidents who came from upstate or outstate New York.
William Seward (Republican), Horace Greeley (Democrat), Peter
Cooper (Greenback), Horatio Seymour (Democrat), Samuel Tilden
(Democrat), Charles Evans Hughes (Republican) and Thomas
Dewey (Republican), also from the state or city, were presidential
(unsuccessful) nominees. New Yorkers Averell Harriman (Democrat),
Nelson Rockefeller (Republican) and George Pataki (Republican)
were among those who recently ran, but weren’t nominated.
Yet despite so many New Yorkers in presidential politics over the
past 200 years, in any previous cycle there was almost always only
one from the then-largest state or city in the race.
This year there were four --- now there are three --- and one of them
is likely to be sworn in as president on January 20, 2021. The two
most likely to win, it is true, no longer make New York City their
residence. The certain GOP nominee and incumbent president,
Donald Trump, now lives in Florida The current frontrunning
Democrat, Bernie Sanders, now lives in Vermont.
When the New York Yankees won the American League baseball
pennant, and the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York Mets won
National League pennant the same year, the World Series became
known as the “subway series.”
If Donald Trump faces either Bernie Sanders or Michael
Bloomberg in 2020, it could be known as the “battle of the
New York City might not be what it once was --- the nation’s
preeminent economic and cultural center --- but seemingly it has
a few political cards yet to play.
Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.