New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference to provide an update of the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign on Friday morning during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

“The candidate who I believe can fundamentally address income inequality effectively, the candidate who has the right vision, the right experience and the ability to get the job done is Hillary Clinton,” he said.


His  endorsement comes months too late to matter for de Blasio (or her). It is, in the parlance of The Fix's Endorsement Hierarchy, the classic "obligatory" endorsement. (Read more on the Endorsement Hierarchy here or scroll to the bottom of this post for the categories and examples of each.)

The New York mayor withheld his endorsement for months, explicitly refusing in April to back Clinton, whose Senate campaign he managed (!) in 2000, while appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press." At the time, de Blasio withheld his support, insisting that "I want to see a vision. And again, that would be true of candidates on all levels. It's time to see a clear, bold vision for progressives."

His goal was clear -- to establish himself as a national liberal powerbroker who could move Clinton to the ideological left.  Then Bernie Sanders came along, de Blasio's popularity numbers in New York tanked, and everyone forgot about his gambit. (Well, not everyone. You can be sure Clinton and her people didn't.)

As the months went on, it became clear that no one was really waiting on de Blasio to weigh in on the race. And, with Vice President Biden not running, the contest tilted clearly back in Clinton's favor — although by how much depends on what poll you believe.

In the end then, de Blasio was left with virtually no choice. He had tried — and failed — to use his one-time popularity to catapult himself into a more prominent national role using Clinton as a foil. So, sure, he's with Clinton. But, it doesn't seem anyone is all too thrilled about it.

This line, from the New York Times' piece on the endorsement, is telling:

And the timing — on a Friday morning, when many politicians choose to disclose unpleasant news — suggested that Mr. de Blasio was heeding the advice of aides who urged him to end his dithering and move on.

That about covers it.

The Fix Endorsement Hierarchy (ranked in order of influence)
  • The Symbolic Endorsement: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush endorsing Mitt Romney for president.
  • The National Endorsement: Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty for Romney.
  • The In-State Statewide Endorsement: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist throwing his support to Sen. John McCain just before the Sunshine State presidential primary in 2008.
  • The Celebrity Endorsement: Chuck Norris for Huckabee in 2008; Oprah for Obama.
  • The Newspaper Endorsement: The Washington Post endorsing state Sen. Creigh Deeds in the 2009 Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary.
  • Out-of-State Statewide Endorsement: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint endorsing former Florida state House speaker Marco Rubio in the 2010 Senate primary.
  • The What Goes Around Comes Around Endorsement: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsing Rubio.
  • The Obligatory Endorsement: President George W. Bush endorsing McCain’s presidential bid in 2008.
  • The “Me for Me” Endorsement: Former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) endorsing Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D) 2010 Senate campaign.
  • The Non-Endorsement Endorsement: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) passing on an endorsement of Sen. David Vitter’s (R) 2010 reelection bid.
  • The Backfire Endorsement: Former vice president Al Gore endorsing former Vermont governor Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential race.
  • The Pariah Endorsement: Jailed former congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham backing Newt Gingrich.