Yesterday, The New York Times made a splash in the city’s political scene by dropping a front-page look into Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s forceful management style. The article–full of catchy anecdotes like threats against colleagues’ “balls”–generated a small storm of media coverage, and this morning, Ms. Quinn went on CNN to embrace her “pushy” personality and the accomplishments she says it helped her achieve.
“At times I get really emotional about the work I’m doing,” she said. “It’s really important work and at times you need to be really forceful to get things that are stuck unstuck. Now, obviously we all want to modulate our tempers and keep them in check, but I have big emotions and I care deeply about delivering for New Yorkers and sometimes that means you got to push things forward. And I think New Yorkers know that. This a tough town and we’re a tough people.”
Politicos across the city are abuzz with excitement over The New York Times‘ front-page profile of Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s “surprisingly volatile” temperament, but one of her top rivals in the mayoral race, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, isn’t piling on. Indeed, when asked about the article today, Mr. de Blasio simply urged Ms. Quinn to put her forceful personality behind paid sick day legislation in the City Council.
“I dont worry so much about the fact that she raises her voice and gets angry at people,” Mr. de Blasio said at a City Hall press conference on the paid sick day bill. “I worry that she doesn’t speak up for average New Yorkers. I think it’s one thing to say in a private conversation, she gets angry and upset with people, but I’d like to see her speak up when it matters on issues like this and we haven’t seen that. Repeatedly, we’ve seen her look the other way on issues like paid sick days and living wage. That’s what the public will ultimately judge, the substance, whether someone is on their side or not.”