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.
Tuesday Night Fever
CHARLOTTE, NC — New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand apparently really enjoyed the speech Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren delivered at the Democratic National Convention last night. Shortly after Ms. Warren left the stage, Ms. Gillibrand sent an email to her supporters encouraging them to give money to Ms. Warren.
“I can’t stop thinking about Elizabeth Warren’s speech,” Ms. Gillibrand wrote. “You could hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes: Elizabeth will never give up on the middle class. She’ll be relentless in making sure everyone gets a fair shot.”
CHARLOTTE, NC — First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to the African American Caucus at the Democratic National Convention this morning. Prior to Ms. Obama’s speech, the audience heard from Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile and Virgie Rollins, chairwoman of the Black Caucus. The two women mocked the absence of racial diversity and dance skills they saw on display at last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.
“The other side, when you saw their African American delegates, they were a little bit lacking weren’t they?” Ms. Rollins said after noting that this year’s Democratic convention is hosting the largest delegation in the history of the Black Caucus.
TAMPA, FL — It’s fitting that one of the most enduring images of the 2012 Republican National Convention was Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, since the main purpose of the confab was crowning Mitt Romney as the titular leader of the party, finally filling the seat of GOP power that has remained more or less vacant since John McCain was vanquished by President Barack Obama four years ago.
As the saying goes, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. After his defeat in 2008, Mr. McCain didn’t even bother joining the primary combatants vying to lead the elephant herd into battle against President Obama in this year’s race. His second, Sarah Palin, didn’t have a place in the primaries or at the convention in Tampa. Instead, she was banished to her Facebook page, where she railed against her overlords at Fox News for canceling all of her scheduled appearances, in which she’d hoped to take to the airwaves in praise of Mr. McCain on the night of his RNC cameo.
Like any coronation, last week’s convention was supposed to be a time for Mr. Romney’s fellow Republicans to rally around him and march into combat by his side. However, the ascent of the House of Romney was accomplished without the blessing of the conservative and libertarian factions of the party. As a result, Tampa became a theater for the sorts of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and power plays that so often accompany these matters of dynastic succession. Though ostensibly acting as standard bearers for Mr. Romney, the other lords of the GOP seemed to be more interested in plotting their own ascendancies four years from now than in following Mitt into battle against President Obama.
Politicians aren’t the only ones making preparations with the Democratic and Republican national conventions fast approaching. Swingers and strip club owners are making plans of their own that will ensure things stay decidedly steamy at the quadrennial political confabs in Charlotte and Tampa. The Politicker perused through local ads on Craigslist and found several sexual convention listings including a casting call for “HOT Beer Tub Girls,” a couple looking for a third playmate and an allegedly married member of the RNC host committee in Tampa trying to arrange a rendezvous with another man.
Legislators in North Carolina have proposed a bill aimed at making sure there will be enough booze at September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Under current North Carolina law, state-run liquor stores, which are the only source for hard alcohol in the state, must be closed on Sundays and on Labor Day, the day before the convention is scheduled to start. The bill would allow the stores to remain open on Labor Day to prevent bars and restaurants from running out of booze due to the combined imbibing of holiday weekend revelers and early DNC arrivals.