Politics

Harvard students pan former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘Politically opportunistic’

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Former Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio was handed a coveted fellowship at Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) for fall 2022.

Students on campus aren’t thrilled with the politician.

Banners grasp outdoors Memorial Church on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 4, 2009. 
(Michael Fein/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images)

“Honestly, I don’t have a great impression of de Blasio,” Owen Wiese, Class of 2025, instructed the student-run Harvard Independent.

“I think he irked a lot of New Yorkers by campaigning for president in other states when NYC was dealing with a lot of problems. He generally was perceived as politically opportunistic and someone who changed his opinions based on who he was talking to.”

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De Blasio was named a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics visiting fellow, a position meant to convey “distinguished veterans of public life for a short yet comprehensive stay at the Institute of Politics.”

De Blasio emerges from a voting booth after voting in the New York City mayoral primary Sept. 10, 2013, in Brooklyn.

De Blasio emerges from a voting sales space after voting within the New York City mayoral major Sept. 10, 2013, in Brooklyn.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“We are excited to welcome Mayor de Blasio to campus as we look for pathways forward on the challenges facing our democracy,” Institute of Politics Interim Director Setti Warren mentioned in a press launch. 

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“I am happy to join the IOP to help inspire our nation’s next generation of leaders to find ways to serve in politics and public service and to build a government that serves working people,” de Blasio mentioned on the time of his appointment.

Harvard's seal sits atop a gate to the athletic fields at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 21, 2009. 

Harvard’s seal sits atop a gate to the athletic fields at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 21, 2009. 
(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Not all suggestions has been unfavorable. Some students instructed the Harvard Independent they see worth in de Blasio’s fellowship no matter his political historical past.

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“As a New Yorker who watched him try to will himself into a higher job than mayor for years, it’s not that surprising he would want to be involved with Harvard somehow,” Jack Silvers of the Class of 2025 mentioned. “His past is complicated, and who knows what his legacy will be like. I hope students engage with his study group. I just worry about the stigma from his presidential run and antics as mayor.”

Former Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio speaks during the opening of a vaccination center for Broadway workers in Times Square April 12, 2021, in New York City. 

Former Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio speaks through the opening of a vaccination middle for Broadway employees in Times Square April 12, 2021, in New York City. 
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)

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The former New York City mayor’s appointment as a visiting fellow throughout the program comes after a short-lived marketing campaign for New York’s tenth Congressional District. He dropped out in June.

“Whether or not  de Blasio was a good mayor, he can still be a valuable fellow,” mentioned Lucas Gazianis of the Class of 2024. “Anyone who leads New York City has an array of highly unique experiences, and as long as de Blasio is a patient and candid teacher, students will likely get a lot out of his fellowship.”

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