De Blasio's Adviser No. 1: His Wife

NY Times sees 'little precedent' for their close partnership
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2013 2:25 PM CST
De Blasio's Adviser No. 1: His Wife
New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and wife Chirlane McCray hold hands while crossing the street in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

When it came to tough campaign questions, Bill de Blasio relied on wife Chirlane McCray's counsel—and that relationship is poised to continue while he's mayor of New York City. "We are obviously not like any couple that has been there before," de Blasio tells the New York Times, which cites "little precedent" in Gracie Mansion for the pair's political alliance. The pair, however, do draw comparisons to the Clintons. "She is the most important adviser I have," says de Blasio, adding that McCray's contributions to his administration will fit a "partnership model" reminiscent of the work of "well-known senior advisers down through history."

McCray plays a key role in policy and strategy decisions, choosing staff, and writing speeches. When a radio ad for de Blasio's opponent angered her, she wrote to aides to address it; an email from de Blasio to staffers, labeled "This is the word of Chirlane," pushed her ideas on brochure distribution. Her exact duties aren't specified or formal, but she's "most often the person who is right," de Blasio tells the Times. One concern, however, is the risk of insularity. The incoming mayor wants to "make sure the two of us don’t sometimes see the world too narrowly." Click for the full profile. (Read more Bill de Blasio stories.)

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