As Seen on TV
With just over two weeks to go before they face off in the September 10 Republican primary, John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota have taken their battle to the air.
Mr. Catsimatidis, a billionaire who is self-financing his campaign, recently suggested that he would avoid dropping “nuclear bombs”–his word for attack ads–unless his GOP rival, Mr. Lhota, went negative first. But it seems Mr. Catsimatidis has decided to drop them anyway.
pulling out the pink
Standing alongside her rivals at the first broadcast debate of the mayor’s race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the contest’s former front-runner, seemed like a candy-coated version of herself.
Suited up to stand out in a bright pink dress and powder-pink jacket, the famously brash Ms. Quinn spoke slowly and softly, her head cocked slightly to the side, seemingly coached to dig into her opponents and deliver repeated talking points with a frozen smile.
“Quinn trapped in consultant Saran Wrap,” remarked one noted columnist of the wooden performance. One stunned Democratic operative described “a Stepford wife version of Chris Quinn.” A writer, pegging Ms. Quinn “the grinning assassin,” suggested she was “smiling and speaking slowly, as if trying not to alarm the audience.”
In an interview with Politicker after the forum, Ms. Quinn ascribed the observations to nerves ahead of the biggest primary debate yet.
Headline of the Day: “Monica Lewinsky’s sexy tape to Bill Clinton unearthed after 15 years.”
Runner-Up: “Second Place Now a ‘Battle Of the Bills”
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson may be on the defense over his positions on stop-and-frisk and police profiling, but one potential supporter is confident in his stance. While Mr. Thompson Read More
A Cup of Joe
Joe Lhota took his mayoral campaign to southwest Brooklyn today, and the first-time candidate insisted he knows what he’s doing.
“There’s an urban myth about my retail campaigning,” Mr. Lhota, a Republican, told Politicker. “I’ve campaigned not as the candidate, but out front with Rudy Giuliani in ’89 and ’93. I ran with a campaign manager for a whole bunch of people who ran for student body president in college. I understand what you need to do.”
Joe Lhota stepped up to the plate today for his one-time boss, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Lhota, currently running for mayor himself, sent out a press release blasting former mayor David Dinkins’ comments about his loss to Mr. Giuliani in 1993.
“I think it was just racism, pure and simple,” Mr. Dinkins wrote in his forthcoming memoir, highlighted in a New York Times piece published yesterday.
Chairman of the Bored
Some politicians adore campaigning; buttonholing commuters, making the church rounds to share their visions for the city and having heart-to-hearts at senior centers.
And then there are candidates like Joe Lhota, the leading Republican running for mayor.
Chatting up passersbys recently outside a subway stop on the Upper East Side, Mr. Lhota’s energetic hellos and handshakes were interspersed with awkward pauses and commentary, as he stood with his hands on his hips, arms framing a bulky white shirt and blue striped tie.
“I’m leaving as soon as it starts raining,” he said to his staff, only half-joking, during a lull between handshakes under an increasingly threatening sky.
Helen Rosenthal, one of the leading Democrats campaigning for an Upper West Side Council district, cut a $1,000 check for former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s aborted Senate campaign. But despite the neighborhood’s status as a progressive bastion, Ms. Rosenthal’s campaign told Politicker she stood by the contribution as a strategic play against a more conservative rival.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was especially chipper this morning during his weekly radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling, a day after the courts delivered two victories: a win on the city’s plan to introduce a new fleet of “Boro Taxis” that will roam the outer boroughs and one that will allow riders to use apps to hail cabs.
Anthony Weiner, who usually points to his congressional record or loud advocacy efforts, went a different route in Harlem yesterday and recalled his days battling then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the City Council.
“Do you remember when the stairwells were bursting into flames in public housing?” Mr. Weiner asked members of the Sojourner Truth Democratic Club’s mayoral forum gathered in a back room of the La Hermosa Christian Church.
Just Like Obama
At a fund-raiser last night for his one-time deputy mayor Joe Lhota, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani not only came out swinging against Democratic officials’ counter-terrorism policies, he blasted this year’s crop of Democratic mayoral candidates, saying neither they–nor President Barack Obama–had ever held a real job.
Mr. Giuliani, one of Mr. Lhota’s biggest backers as he seeks the Republican nomination for City Hall’s top job, touted his former attack dog’s record in the private sector and as the city’s once-budget director.
“That’s exactly what we need. Not these career politicians who have never really held a job. Like our President, who never really held a job,” he said, to laughs, according to footage of the speech at the Excelsior Grand in Staten Island, captured by blogger Jacob Kornbluh.