On Friday morning, groundhogs across the country let out tiny sighs of relief as New York City mayor and alleged groundhog killer Bill de Blasio announced that he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race.
“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time. So I’m going to end my presidential campaign, continue my work as mayor of New York City, and I’m going to keep speaking up for working people and for a Democratic Party that stands for working people,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Over the course of de Blasio’s campaign, which he announced back in May (after being scooped by a high schooler), the vocal cargo-short enthusiast polled at less than one percent in the crowded Democratic primary field. And back in New York City, his approval rating dropped to 33 percent this month, as residents felt he was neglecting his mayoral duties to campaign.
Meanwhile, from deep in their burrows, groundhogs and other marmots presumably watched the campaign with mounting anxiety, recalling the terrible February day in 2014 when de Blasio picked up celebrity groundhog Staten Island Chuck (who was actually Staten Island Charlotte), only to drop her six feet to the ground. Charlotte died in her enclosure at the Staten Island Zoo a week later.
Both the mayor’s office and the zoo downplayed his role in the incident, with a zoo spokesperson saying, “It appears unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day.”
Other sources told the New York Post, however, that a necropsy performed on Charlotte found that she had died from “acute internal injuries” consistent with a fall.
So far, ground squirrels have yet to endorse any candidate in the 2020 race.