Former President Bill Clinton is expected in Atlanta soon as part of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House, Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday.
Reed gave no additional details beyond saying he plans to host the one-time president “shortly.”
The visit would come just weeks after Reed hosted Chelsea Clinton at a private fundraiser and later flew to Iowa to campaign on behalf of the former secretary of state, who is facing an increasingly tough challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.
Most polls show Clinton and Sanders, an independent, in a virtual dead heat in Iowa ahead of its Feb. 1 caucus.
Reed brushed off the competition, offering this advice to the Clinton camp: “Quit acting alarmed.”
Sanders, he said, doesn’t have a “path to victory” in the 2016 race.
“I’m completely un-alarmed and I think that Secretary Clinton and the Clinton campaign should quit acting alarmed,” Reed said. “What we need to do is go to Iowa and work very hard every single day and win and not care by how much it is.”
Though Sanders is widely expected to take New Hampshire in the Feb. 9 primary, “we are going to eviscerate him” in South Carolina, Reed said.
“My sense is what we need to do is really stay even and not to be pulled into a battle that benefits him and causes more folks to listen to him,” Reed cautioned.
The mayor — considered one of the state’s most prominent Democrats in office — is expected to travel to New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to campaign for Clinton. Reed has known the Clintons for years, though he backed President Barack Obama in the 2008 cycle.
Sanders supporters have likened their candidate’s grassroots base and popularity to that of Obama’s, and say they believe African-American voters will coalesce behind the senator should he piece together a few early victories.
Asked about reports that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the race, Reed described the billionaire as a “terrifically talented individual.”
Reed has worked with Bloomberg on climate changes initiatives and Atlanta received more than $3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to establish the city’s 311 center.
The Atlanta mayor said he wouldn’t be surprised if Bloomberg ran in the event Clinton isn’t the Democratic party’s nominee, noting: “I don’t believe he is going to sit on the sidelines while Donald Trump and Sen. Sanders run for the presidency.”
Reed, famous for his Twitter prowess, traded barbs with Sanders’ South Carolina Deputy Communications Director Nathaniel Meyersohn on the social media site Thursday following publication of this story.
The exchange began when Meyersohn retweeted this article and took aim at Reed’s reputation for blocking critics:
Reed shot back:
Then Meyersohn said:
And Reed replied: