The Ticket

Bloomberg urged Hillary Clinton to run for New York City mayor

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

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Clinton and Bloomberg in 2009 (Joe Kohen/WireImage via Getty Images)

One of the biggest political mysteries in the country is what Hillary Clinton will do once she leaves her post as President Barack Obama's secretary of state next month. Will she run for president in 2016? Or will she take a lower-profile position, like president of Yale, her alma mater?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently has his own ideas for Clinton's future: He reportedly told the former New York senator she should consider running for his job as he prepares to leave office next year.

Sources tell The New York Times' Michael Barbaro that Bloomberg made the pitch directly to Clinton in a recent phone call, insisting she would be a "perfect fit" to oversee one of the country's biggest cities.

According to the Times, Clinton told Bloomberg she wasn't interested. Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Clinton, declined to comment, saying he would not discuss his boss's "private conversations." Bloomberg's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg's suggestion seems to be less about Clinton and more about his desire to extend his political influence as he prepares to leave office next fall. The outgoing mayor launched a super PAC in October aimed at backing candidates, state referendums and ballot initiatives around the country, and has indicated he has no desire to leave the political spotlight. By urging Clinton to enter the race, Bloomberg would have a role in handpicking a high-profile successor who reflects many of his own political values, including his support for gun control measures.

But as the Times notes, Bloomberg's pitch to Clinton infuses plenty of political intrigue into New York City's mayoral race next year. Many believed Bloomberg would back the expected mayoral bid of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a longtime ally of the mayor who backed a rule change that allowed Bloomberg to run for a third term at City Hall. But Bloomberg's pitch to Clinton apparently is a sign that the mayor believes his successor should be a more prominent figure—as he was when he ran to succeed Rudy Giuliani in 2001.

But even if Clinton were interested, she doesn't meet one requirement for New York's mayoral candidates: She would have to be an official resident of New York City. Clinton, who owns homes in Washington, D.C., and Chappaqua, N.Y., is not. But that's a hurdle Clinton has jumped before: She moved to New York in 1999 while still serving as first lady in order to meet residency requirements for her 2000 Senate run—a race she won.

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