Mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn refused to criticize President Obama over reports that the federal government has engaged in widespread monitoring of Americans’ Internet activity and telephone calls–arguing that surveillance is crucial to the city’s safety.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn downplayed the challenge posed by Anthony Weiner in an interview last night with CNN’s Piers Morgan, who appeared to be having a rollicking time making fun of Mr. Weiner’s name.
Ms. Quinn, who is currently making the rounds promoting her new memoir, has so far avoided weighing in on the impact of Mr. Weiner’s late jump into the race. But Mr. Morgan managed to break through her usually well-rehearsed rebuttals–for a moment, at least.
The Fourth Estate
Riding in a van with reporters on his five borough tour yesterday, candidate Bill Thompson weighed in on the media storm that has engulfed Anthony Weiner since he jumped into the mayoral race two weeks ago.
“If anything, I didn’t know that CNN was interested in this election,” Mr. Thompson said with a smile. “It has created additional media attention–that it has done. I don’t know if it’s increased the attention on the public’s part but I know it has increased media attention,” he said. “Other than that, I don’t know that there is any real change.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner is taking heat from all sides for delaying the decisive vote on the post-Hurricane Sandy federal aid package. Even his fellow Republicans have blasted Mr. Boehner. Many of the local Democrats who jumped into the fray used the motif of the famous 1975 Daily News cover that implied Gerald Ford told the city to “drop dead” when he vowed to veto federal aid to the five boroughs in their assessments of Mr. Boehner’s conduct. Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson explicitly credited his source material in his shot at Mr. Boehner.
“The decision by House Speaker John Boehner to postpone a vote on Hurricane Sandy aid for the New York region is a travesty of epic proportions,” Mr. Thompson said in a statement. “The move is reminiscent of the famous newspaper headline from the 1970’s when the federal government refused to help New York City in a time of need. ‘Boehner to City: Drop Dead’ is an appropriate headline for the Speaker’s actions.”
lowering the bar
While President Barack Obama’s campaign is touting Vice President Joe Biden’s debate skills, promising a “forceful and compelling” performance, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival is going in the opposite direction. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last night, Mitt Romney said his running mate, Paul Ryan, shouldn’t be expected to dominate.
“I don’t know how Paul will deal with this debate. Obviously the vice president has done, I don’t know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime,” Mr. Romney said when asked what viewers can expect, labeling the incumbent vice president an “experienced debater.”
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had been to the Democratic National Convention three times before, but this year’s event was different. These days, Ms. Quinn is widely seen as the front-runner in next year’s race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In May, just 10 days after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, instantly making it one of the hottest topics of this election cycle, Ms. Quinn married her longtime partner Kim Catullo in a wedding that received almost Kardashian-esque coverage from New York’s political press corps and made her one of the highest-profile married, openly gay politicians in the country.
With her newfound notoriety, it would seem, the stars are aligning for Ms. Quinn to follow Mr. Bloomberg’s footsteps as the most prominent mayor in the country. However, she will first have to cut her path to City Hall through a crowded field of opponents and a Council that may include members eager to exact revenge on the outgoing speaker, while also battling the persistent impression she is a political stand-in, a Medvedev to Mr. Bloomberg’s Putin.
TAMPA, FL – Sarah Palin took to Facebook yesterday to accuse Fox News of canceling all of her scheduled appearances on the network during the Republican National Convention, but CNN host Piers Morgan said he’d be glad to have her on his show during the RNC festivities. However, Mr. Morgan said Ms. Palin, who has a contract with Fox News through January, has yet to take him up on his invitation.
“I’m serious, if she’s fallen out with Fox, I’d love to get her on. It’s the one reason we haven’t had her since I’ve been on air, because of her contract with Fox,” Mr. Morgan told Politicker at the CNN Grill at the RNC last night. “Clearly, if she’s had an issue with them and can now do us, I’d love to interview her.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN host Fareed Zakaria he doesn’t believe undocumented immigrants pose a crime risk in an interview for the upcoming television special Global Lessons: The GPS Road Map for Making Immigration Work.
“Undocumented have very low crime rate. Why? Because they’re scared to death they’re going to get arrested and deported,” Mr. Bloomberg said of New York’s undocumented immigrants.
Congressman Pete King, the head of the House’s Homeland Security Committee, has been generating some media buzz recently with his forceful rejection of a Democratic amendment which would restricting federal funding from police forces declared to be discriminatory by the Attorney General. While the amendment wouldn’t directly impact the NYPD, the subtext of the legislation was clearly intended to send a message regarding the Muslim-surveillance controversy unearthed by The Associated Press earlier this year. And on a recent CNN discussion, Mr. King pushed back hard when The New Yorker‘s Ryan Liza tried to give credit to The AP’s report.
“First off, there is no profiling, that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating,” Mr. King stated flatly when the topic was broached.
“I’m not propagating anything I’m just telling you that there’s been some very legitimate questions raised about what the NYPD is doing!” Mr. Lizza shouted back.
Eliot Spitzer’s 2010 campaign is, finally, down to $0.
Among the former governor’s last expenditures were over $100,000 in charitable contributions made on July 10 — the last day of this filing period.
The breakdown: $25,000 went to Harvard Law Fund; $25,000 to Horace Mann School; $25,000 went to Skadden Fellowship, and $50,000 to President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Spitzer’s charitable streak comes after his CNN show was canceled, taking away the major vehicle he had for a potential 2013 return to politics. As the head of a huge real estate empire, his philanthropic endeavors could continue.
[h/t Bill Mahoney]