Bill de Blasio says being mayor of New York City was 'entirely draining' and lonely: 'It's a crazed video game'

Bill de Blasio says being mayor of New York City was 'entirely draining' and lonely: 'It's a crazed video game'
New York Democratic House candidate and former New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioAP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
  • Bill de Blasio, now running for Congress, told The Nation he doesn't miss being mayor.
  • "I don't miss the totality. It was just entirely draining," he told the magazine.

New York Democratic House candidate Bill de Blasio doesn't miss being the Big Apple's mayor, he told The Nation.

"I don't miss the totality. It was just entirely draining," de Blasio told the magazine. "There were some absolutely joyous moments and triumphant moments and moments that were everything you could have dreamed of. There were some incredibly tough moments, painful moments—it's not one thing."

From his long-running feud with former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to campaign finance scandals and an acrimonious relationship with the City Hall press corps, de Blasio was often playing defense while trying to enact his policy proposals. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, reportedly had a dart board with de Blasio's face on it at the governor's mansion in Albany, but it was de Blasio who emerged from the fracas with a political career still intact after the governor's resignation in August 2021.

Now running in New York's newly redrawn 10th congressional district — encompassing lower Manhattan and stretching into Brooklyn, including de Blasio's Park Slope neighborhood — the former mayor said the job inevitably became isolating.

"I think you end up, in an executive position, in a bubble and in some isolation. It's a crazed video game—there's tons incoming, an ever-changing dynamic. I think the antidote is to sort of be out there, be connected with people, keep it very human," he said.


While there was some speculation de Blasio would run for governor, he said he's a fan of the newly shaped district and enjoys getting to spend more time with the citizenry, freed from his security detail and the sprawling city government.

"It's an interesting kind of return. It's like going back to roots in every sense. It is very refreshing," de Blasio said. "This morning, I was at PS 107 and I was just hanging out, talking to people. No filter, no entourage. It is where I started, how I started, and in some ways it's very refreshing to come back."

The former mayor and presidential candidate will square off against his Democratic opponents on August 23. They include Rep. Mondaire Jones — currently representing the Empire State's 17th district — state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, and former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, who also worked as the House Democrats' lawyer during President Donald Trump's first impeachment.