Merry Christmas, Bill.
With just a few weeks left in his second and final term, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a point of expressing his love for a critical New York Post Page One from earlier this week.
With the headline “Santanista Claus,” the wood — tabloid newspaper slang for a front page — depicted Hizzoner as Saint Nick with a Fidel Castro-like beard and hat.
Despite the zing, de Blasio on Wednesday called it one of his “all-time” favorites.
“I just want to break in and say I was impressed by your cover art on the cover page yesterday,” the mayor interrupted a Post reporter Wednesday before her question during one of his last press briefings.
“I just thought it was creative. I mean, come on, you got to always be impressed by the people who create The Post covers and the witty phrases. That was pretty good,” he chuckled.
The satirical front page was designed by Post artist Peter LaVigna.
Asked for his favorite Post cover over his eight years in office, de Blasio said the “Santanista” cover vies for first place.
“That’s gotta go way up the list, I tell you, that’s got to go on my all-time greatest hits list,” he said.
Tuesday’s Santanista cover featured the mayor as a socialist Saint Nick popping out of a chimney beside a list of lump-of-coal “gifts” he was leaving the Big Apple as he leaves office.
The progressive’s goodies were the new vaccine mandate for private employers, city-approved shooting galleries and axing the Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented program.
But de Blasio has inspired several other memorable Post woods.
De Blasio traveled to the Marxist Sandinista regime in 1988 to distribute food and medicine during Nicaragua’s civil war. At the time, the US opposed the Sandinistas, who were receiving weapons from the Soviets and supplies from Cuba.
He also visited Castro’s Cuba in 1991 for his honeymoon.
During a campaign stop in Miami when he was running his long-shot bid for president in June 2019, de Blasio drew the ire of Cuban exiles for praising Che Guevara. In response, The Post’s cover showed de Blasio in the infamous revolutionary’s iconic beret with the headline — “Che What? De Blasio outrages Miami Cubans by quoting Guevara.”
When de Blasio dropped out of the race that fall — after polling at just 1 percent — The Post ran an “obituary” on its front page for the short-lived political campaign that’d been “rigor mortis for some time.”
Early in his administration, The Post gave “Blazzzz” an old-fashioned alarm clock at a briefing and snapped a photo of Hizzoner holding the sans-snooze-button relic. That 2014 shot graced the front page with the headline, “No More Excuses” a day after the perennially late mayor missed the start of a ceremony for Flight 587 crash victims because he “woke up sluggish.”
A year later, New York’s top tabloid depicted de Blasio’s famous feuding with ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo by putting the dueling duo in a boxing ring. “Raging Bill” threw a fierce uppercut in the photo illustration as he ripped Cuomo’s “political machinations.”
By September 2017, almost halfway through his mayoralty, de Blasio griped that he wasn’t getting enough credit for his leadership. “Where’s My Parade?,” the paper’s front page blared in response, with an image of Hizzoner as a grand marshal swirling a baton and sporting a sash that read, “Best Mayor Ever.”
And a 2018 front page that surely belongs on the mayor’s “Most Embarrassing Moments” list has de Blasio dressed as a bride with the headline “Jilted!” after the Miami schools boss reneged on an offer to lead the city’s Department of Education — on live television.