His father was the former mayor of Denver, Colorado—and Jesse Smith will be going up against Mayor Bloomberg in a November 2014 mayoral campaign.
I think it’s time to move beyond the caricature about Jesse. Jesse’s a kid from the hood, from the streets. He’s not some white kid who comes and owns a condo. He’s a son who grew up in a poor neighborhood and, in fact, he got a good education here so he could follow his dream. He’s a guy who lives with his mother and his older brother, both who are still in school. Jesse gets along well with his dad and has been a pillar of his community.
And he’s been a good community leader. Jesse is a father of five. He has two kids of his own—including a little girl who’s an avid soccer player.
When would you say Jesse would be a great mayor?
You know, I’m not going to be talking about this—but let me give you one example of another great leader who’s going to come out. I spent about an hour in their office—and my wife was there too—and I’m thinking he’s not going to come out just to talk about some of the things people in this office are worried about. (Laughter.)
Jesse Smith has a great personal story. His mother wasn’t married when Jesse came along. So Jesse spent most of his early life in a house with eight other kids. And when he was 7 or 8, he started coming into school with his older brother, who was about 8. He began doing well and he was in ninth grade when the police department had him. And now he’s been mayor.
So he worked very hard. He worked as hard as he could and he’s a smart guy, which is why he’s been mayor. And he’ll be just fine as mayor, too.
I really believe Jesse is a bright guy who is intelligent—and he has really been a star for many years. And I don’t think he’s done anything in his life that didn’t need to be done because he was smart.
The other thing I will tell you is, Jesse is smart enough to talk to people and he’s smart enough to make things happen. And I just want to tell you that I met Jesse at the airport one day and I said, “Hey, you’re running for mayor of New York, and we’re here. Come up and say hello.”
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