The Press Box
“I’m not particularly fond of getting the shit kicked out of me by the media all the time,” John Liu told The Observer last week. “But that doesn’t alter the reality.”
The reality, the city’s comptroller said, is not necessarily found in the headlines every morning. For example, he disputes a New York Daily News report that “debunked” his claims of childhood sweatshop work. The New York Post said he “needs to just go away.” And Mr. Liu feels it’s “plainly obvious” that federal prosecutors are driving negative New York Times coverage as they investigate his mayoral campaign for fund-raising improprieties.
“You’re not supposed to fuck with the Fourth Estate,” Mr. Liu explained while sitting on a bench after a Harlem event, displaying two of his signature traits in one quick sentence—a penchant for direct talk and an increased interest in how the media portrays him.
In a 14-hour series of events yesterday, Comptroller John Liu formalized his mayoral candidacy as he traversed the city’s five boroughs. Throughout the early part of the day, Mr. Liu showed impressive energy, speed-walking, jogging, and–at one point, at least–literally sprinting from location to location with a band of reporters struggling to catch up. But some of the most memorable moments on the campaign trail came in the evening when Mr. Liu boarded the back of the press van and, munching on donuts, fielded a barrage of questions until the inquiries simply ran out. Notably, Mr. Liu dismissed politicos and pundits who categorize him as a City Hall long-shot due to the ongoing federal investigation into his fundraising.
“I wouldn’t be running–it’s way too much time and money to throw down the drain–if there was not a clear shot to victory,” Mr. Liu told Politicker.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched her campaign yesterday with a nod to her roots by kicking off a five borough “walk and talk” tour at the intersection of Broadway and Isham Street in Inwood a stone’s throw from a church with ties to her family. Ms. Quinn used the tale of her grandparents’ journey from New York to Ireland to emphasize the main theme of her campaign–fighting for the middle class. Along with articulating her message, the five borough tour allowed Ms. Quinn to directly address the central questions and controversies surrounding her campaign, namely, her seemingly close ties to the current occupant of City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It’s very exciting to get to be here right across the street from the church where my parents were married, and my sister was baptized and my grandfather was buried, from right near where my mother grew up to announce that today I am officially running to be the mayor of the great City of New York,” declared Ms. Quinn in the first of the day’s five speeches. “This is a city where, 100 years ago, all four of my grandparents, really just kids basically, got on ships and went across oceans … They had heard that magical things could happen here, that if you came here you could get work, you could get decent housing, you could be free and you could get out of poverty. And that’s what this city did for them and for my family it gave us a gateway into the middle class. … That’s the ultimate truth about New York, that it needs to remain and become even more that place of opportunity, a place that’s a beacon for the middle class and people who are fighting so hard to get into that middle class.”
A new poll out from the liberal-leaning firm Public Policy Polling shows just how much dislike Congress. While polls typically simply show lawmakers’ low approval ratings, PPP decided to take a different route and poll approval ratings for Congress compared to other wildly unpopular things. Amazingly, Congress polled even lower than a slew of them including lice, traffic jams, root canals, colonoscopies, cockroaches and the ancient Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan.
“When you’re less popular than cockroaches, Genghis Khan, traffic jams, and yes even Nickelback, well, it might be time to reevaluate,” Tom Jensen, PPP’s director, said in a statement accompanying the poll.
Watch out Santa. A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows 47 percent of Americans believe there is a “War on Christmas.” For years conservative pundits, particularly Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, have argued that secularization efforts including encouraging generic “holiday” celebrations rather than Christmas festivities amount to an assault on the Christian holiday.
A new poll indicates South Carolina voters want Governor Nikki Haley to make comedian Stephen Colbert their senator now that Jim DeMint is leaving Capitol Hill to become president of the Heritage Foundation. The survey, from the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling, found 20 percent of South Carolinians want Mr. Colbert, who is a grew up in the Palmetto State, to get the job.
With both Hillary Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo considered potential 2016 presidential candidates, the latest poll from the Siena Research Institute contains several numbers that will be of interest to early watchers of their potential bids. Siena polled favorability ratings for both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Cuomo and asked New Yorkers whether they’d like to see either run for president four years from now.
by the numbers
During the waning weeks of the election, New York Times poll wonk Nate Silver served as a totem for many liberals in the face of pundits and pollsters who predicted a victory for Mitt Romney. Mr. Silver’s predictions for the outcome of the election ended up being accurate; however, in an email to supporters this morning, Obama For America campaign manager Jim Messina included a not-so-subtle reminder of a time Mr. Silver was off the mark.
“So many times in this election, this campaign was counted out … Last year, a major American newspaper asked, ‘Is Obama toast?’ As recently as two weeks ago, another ran this headline: ‘Can Obama win?’” Mr. Messina wrote. “Tuesday night, you all answered all of those doubts with a resounding YES WE CAN.”
The first headline Mr. Messina referred to in his email was a piece from the New York Times Magazine written by Mr. Silver almost exactly one year ago. In that piece, Mr. Silver speculated President Barack Obama might not win re-election because voters had “fundamental misgivings” about him and the state of the American economy.
Just Say No
A new poll of the race to replace term-limited New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released last night included actor Alec Baldwin, who has hinted he might run for mayor. Based on the numbers, Mr. Baldwin might want to abandon his dream of sitting in City Hall. According to the poll, which was conducted by NY1 and Marist College, 66 percent of New York voters don’t want Mr. Baldwin to even try running for mayor.
keeping hope alive
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has seen polls tighten in recent days, but at Hofstra University ahead of tonight’s debate, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina repeatedly said the re-election effort is doing great in every swing state across the country.
“When you’re within the margin of error, you’re losing,” Mr. Messina declared on the floor of the media filing center as an ever-growing scrum of reporters gathered around him. “And that’s exactly what they’re doing in Ohio. We are leading in battleground states. We’re leading in important places like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin because there’s a clear difference of selection. Romney’s going to struggle to defend his positions on outsourcing….These issues matter and that’s what we’re going to hear about tonight.”