Better Late Than Never
Rev. Calvin Butts III, who notably endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election bid four years ago, is officially throwing his support to the man Mr. Bloomberg defeated in this year’s mayoral race: former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
The endorsement–announced in Harlem at the intersection of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard–is part of Mr. Thompson’s effort to consolidate the minority vote as he faces off against his two top rivals: Democrats Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn. Indeed, at today’s event, the influential Harlem minister said Mr. Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would be able to uniquely deliver for the African-American community.
“I think he brings a perspective that we all need,” said Mr. Butts. “What do I say to African-Americans? I say, ‘Yes, I stand with Bill Thompson’ because I think he is the enlightened African-American who can provide great leadership for this city.”
Adventures in Social Media
Taking a page from the Anthony Weiner shopping-with-the-press playbook, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer took reporters on a tour through West Harlem this afternoon–following a roundtable discussion with minority business leaders–and got some fashion advice along the way,
After picking up an iced coffee at the newly-opened Harlem Shake (“Why’s ice coffee more expensive than regular coffee? You get less coffee, you pay more, I’ve never understood it,” he mused), Mr. Spitzer popped into Harlem Haberdashery, a funky–and expensive, he’d later learn–clothing boutique popular with professional athletes and local pols, including mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Almost immediately, Mr. Spitzer made a beeline to an antique globe sitting near the cash register, picking it up like a basketball. “This is cool, man. Globes are cool!” he exclaimed.
Live From the Apollo
Councilwoman Inez Dickens is openly jockeying to be the next speaker of the City Council, but it appears one Twitter account has already beat her to the punch.
Ms. Dickens recently revamped her re-election website, embedding a Twitter account called “SpeakerDickens.” The only problem is that the account is a parody feed that skewers Ms. Dickens.
The Anthony Weiner Show
Yes he can, apparently.
Comptroller and mayoral hopeful John Liu hosted a raucous rally at the Apollo Theater in Harlem last night, likening himself at its climax to President Obama. Speaking for about a half hour to a crowd that filled the famed theater’s lower level a week after his campaign was denied millions in public matching funds, Mr. Liu hammered home his populist message as his candidacy flounders, at least according to the public polls.
“We’ve got all these polls and pundits and doubters and naysayers. I’ve heard it all before,” Mr. Liu said behind a transparent lectern on stage, sans speaking notes. “Six years ago, a fellow by the name of Barack Obama stood on this very stage and he had a very simple but powerful message. And that message was: ‘Yes, we can.’”
The Bill Thompson Show
Despite plummeting poll numbers, a feisty Anthony Weiner door-knocked inside a Harlem public housing building last night with a horde of press, convinced more than ever that he’d be the city’s next mayor.
Along with several aides and a voter registration list, the former congressman visited apartments throughout a 17-story building on St. Nicholas Avenue, meeting a motley mix of enthusiastic, indifferent and resentful potential voters.
An hour of tramping cramped hallways and dank stairwells also allowed Mr. Weiner to both mock and cajole the media gathered around him–a departure from the outright disdain he’d shown to the press in recent weeks in the wake of his latest sexting scandal.
Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign shifted into high gear yesterday, embarking on a dizzying five-borough, 24-hour tour that took him from the Staten Island ferry to Bronx meat freezers into the wee hours of the morning.
Politicker hung out with Mr. Thompson from 2 a.m. to past 7 a.m. on this journey, where Mr. Thompson, grinning and sipping coffee, maintained his stamina well into the morning, hoping to dispel the sleepy-campaigner branding from his 2009 bid.
The five leading Democratic mayoral candidates–sleeping bags, gym shorts and bouquets in tow–spent last night sleeping in a Harlem public housing development, heeding Rev. Al Sharpton’s call to “dramatize” the many maladies residents of the city’s massive housing system face on a daily basis.
“We started hearing how people were ignored and I said the thing to do is, not only bring the candidates but to dramatize the issue. All of us stay in the development one night,” Mr. Sharpton said last night at the Lincoln Houses, a development nestled next to the East River. “One night’s not going to solve the problem. But one night is going to dramatize that there’s an issue because the media will have to going forward say, one of the central issues in this city is people in public housing.”
Anthony Weiner’s usually private wife, Huma Abedin, joined her husband on the campaign trail on Sunday, shaking hands, posing for photos and subjecting herself to reporters’ questions for the first time since her husband jumped into the mayors race.
A top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ms. Abedin stood by her husband’s side through his sexting scandal. She appeared relaxed and happy as she and Mr. Weiner made their way through a street fair on West 111th Street and then greeted diners and shoppers along Frederick Douglass Boulevard this afternoon in Harlem–often hand-in-hand.
It began outside a subway station in Harlem, where Anthony Weiner greeted–and embraced—New Yorkers on their way to work.
Next, he eschewed the Memorial Day parade in his old district for a sparsely-attended black church service in Southeast Queens and a veterans ceremony in the Bronx’s Co-op City. And this weekend, he slammed stop-and-frisk at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally, earning loud applause from the mostly-black crowd.
Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner emerged from hiding, making his first appearance on the campaign trail Thursday morning in Harlem with a press spectacle that—at one point—attracted the attention of police officers who asked him to move away from the subway station where he’d been trying to greet voters because of the huge crowd of reporters.
Mr. Weiner arrived just before 7:45 a.m. for the frenzied meet-and-greet outside the station at the corner of 125th Street and Malcolm X in Harlem more than 24-hours after announcing that he was jumping into the crowded mayor’s race with a video posted on a re-vamped campaign website.