Bill de Blasio’s presidential announcement video, annotated

A screenshot from Bill de Blasio's presidential announcement.
A screenshot from Bill de Blasio's presidential announcement.
via Youtube
A screenshot from Bill de Blasio's presidential campaign announcement.

Bill de Blasio’s presidential announcement video, annotated

The mayor left out some details about his record. So we filled in the missing context.
May 16, 2019

Bill de Blasio is running for president. After months spent deciding whether he’d run, the New York City mayor officially jumped into the Democratic primary with a three-minute, seven-second video posted on his YouTube channel early Thursday morning. We took a closer look at the announcement from the 23rd Democratic presidential candidate to enter the race.

Inside Gracie Mansion De Blasio in sky blue dress shirt, open collar. Close-up, staring at camera. De Blasio, emphatically:

“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country! It’s just in the wrong hands.”

Establishing shots of New York – the Brooklyn Bridge, the Lower Manhattan skyline. Cut to the mayor in the backseat of a vehicle. Cue upbeat easy-listening-funk instrumental music, heavy with horns. De Blasio, voiceover:

“Here in New York City, a place that is legendarily tough and big and complicated.” De Blasio, on camera, in backseat. Video is shot largely looking at the city out a car window. “Good thing about New Yorkers is they look the same, whether they’re really pissed off at you or they like you.”

Quick cuts of smiling people alone and in groups, diverse in race and age. De Blasio, voiceover:

“We built an agenda that puts working families first. We had to fight all over the city, all over the state, to make sure that people got a decent wage. We are raising the wage to 15 dollars an hour.”

Cheers. Overlaid graphic: $15 MINIMUM WAGE

“Waitresses and dishwashers and store clerks and people who work in small manufacturing firms – the backbone of New York City –”

Cheers. Overlaid graphic: PAID SICK LEAVE

“You will have the legal guarantee for the first time of paid sick leave.”

Cut to de Blasio at May 7 press conference, holding up NYC Care card. Overlaid graphic:

GUARANTEED HEALTHCARE INCLUDING MENTAL HEALTH

“This has never existed anywhere else in this country: fully comprehensive, guaranteed health care.”

Cut to de Blasio holding hands across a table with Chirlane McCray, lovingly looking into each others eyes.

“My wife Chirlane and I believe health care is a human right. It has to be available for all. It has to be affordable. And it has to include mental health services.”

Cut to de Blasio and McCray walking outside a townhouse they own on 11th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. McCray voiceover:

“Everything begins with being healthy. And there’s no health without mental health.”

Overlaid graphic: FREE PRE-K FOR ALL. De Blasio, voiceover:

“Today we announce free, full-day, high-quality, pre-K.”

Cut to McCray and de Blasio, shaking hands with New Yorkers on 6th Avenue in Park Slope. McCray voiceover:

“People come up to Bill every day and thank him for making that possible. It makes a real difference in the child’s life. It makes a real difference in the family’s life.”

Transition, with the rumble of a freight train, the symbol of rural life. Cut fun music and cue somber piano tones. Show more people alone and in groups, diverse in race and age, but nobody is smiling. De Blasio voiceover:

“It doesn’t matter if you live in a city or a rural area, a big state, a small state. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. People in every part of this country feel stuck – or even like they’re going backwards. But the rich got richer.”

Transition, with aerial shots of the White House, followed by photos of Latino migrant children, surrounded by border patrol agents. Cut somber piano and cue anxious strings. Let the orchestra come in with a dramatic knock-off of The Avengers theme. De Blasio:

“I’m a New Yorker. I’ve known Trump’s a bully for a long time. This is not news to me or anyone else here. And I know how to take him on.”

“When Donald Trump started separating families – “Cut to de Blasio at June 20, 2018 press conference outside shelter where unaccompanied minor immigrants were being held:

“Our message to the federal government is simple: stop this broken, inhumane policy right now.”

Cut back to de Blasio inside Grace Mansion, staring off camera, as if being interviewed.

“- we sent lawyers to the border to help protect those families. When he told us he was going to cut off our security funding, we took him to court, and we beat him.”

Transition, with the rumble of a thunderstorm. Satellite shot of a hurricane forming, followed by power plants, polluted water. De Blasio:

“When we saw our national government walk away from the Paris Agreement, we doubled down.”

Cut to de Blasio at an April 22, 2019 press conference touting new limits on greenhouse gas emissions for large buildings.

“This battle to save our earth will be won or lost in our lifetime. There’s no second chance.

Cut back to de Blasio inside Grace Mansion, staring off camera, as if being interviewed.

“Don’t back down in the face of a bully. Confront him. Take him on.”

Cut to dramatic shots of New York City. De Blasio walking on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade as the Manhattan skyline rises behind him.

“As president, I will take on the wealthy. I will take on the big corporations. I will not rest until this government serves working people. As mayor of the largest city in America, I’ve done just that.”

Quick cuts of determined-looking people alone and in groups, diverse in race and age. Cut to de Blasio near Bowling Green, posing for a cell-phone picture with a woman. Woman:

“De Blasio for president, guys!”

Back to Gracie Mansion interior. De Blasio staring into the camera, emphatically:

Donald Trump must be stopped. I’ve beaten him before, and I will do it again.”

Cut to de Blasio, posing on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Overlaid graphic: Bill de Blasio, Mayor, New York City.

“I’m Bill de Blasio, and I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.”

Cut to campaign logo, blue, green and white. Slogan: “Working people first.”

Jeff Coltin
is a staff reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
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