Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio finally returned to the stump tonight, greeting voters who lined up for the chance to shake his hand at a subway stop in Harlem.
After more than two weeks of carefully choreographed endorsement events, it was his very first meet-and-greet with voters since securing the Democratic nomination. And it was a very different scene from his early days, when the breezy candidate would hang around, chatting with voters.
slicing and dicing
Brownsville—overwhelmingly poor, black and churchgoing—would seem like an incongruous place for Anthony Weiner to mount his comeback attempt, but the Brooklyn neighborhood was an outpost of goodwill for the mayoral candidate last week.
At a local senior center, the wiry ex-congressman dished out sugar cookies while gabbing about the foibles of raising a young son. The next day, it was the same routine at another nearby senior facility. Not discussed, unless reporters asked, was the latest sexting scandal that sunk Mr. Weiner’s mayoral campaign in the polls.
“I like Mr. Weiner,” said Keith Floyd, a chef at the Brownsville center. “I think he deserves a chance. Everybody makes mistakes in their life.”
“There’s uncounted congressmen that have done the same thing. He just got caught. … I think he’s more down-to-earth. I believe he’s totally genuine.”
As Seen on TV
At the height of a blistering heat wave that pummeled the city two weeks ago, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn stepped from a black SUV that lingered near the sidewalk just long enough to let its precious cargo leave. The former governor of Puerto Rico, Sila María Calderón, draped in a regal gold jacket, had flown from San Juan to join Ms. Quinn and formally endorse her for mayor of New York City.
Once inside a larger recreational room of the Bronx’s Andrew Jackson Senior Center, filled to the brim with primarily Hispanic seniors, the pair of female politicians were announced like the Rolling Stones gracing the stage of Madison Square Garden.
“We have the first woman who was the governor of Puerto Rico and we have the first woman who is going to be the mayor of the City of New York,” Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo declared, drawing uproarious applause.
new jersey style
Last night, Eliot Spitzer sat down with CNN’s Piers Morgan–marking the latest in a string of more than a dozen high-profile national television and radio interviews since he jumped into the race 11 days ago. He’s been on Jay Leno, sat for interviews with Charlie Rose and Chris Hayes; and later this afternoon he’ll be back on CNN for an interview with Jake Tapper, followed by a sit-down on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.
The number of official appearance he’s made on the campaign trail actually talking to prospective voters? Just 1–on his first day.
Is it the wet fleece? It’s not immediately clear, but according to a new Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey, New York City voters gave the highest storm response-marks to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, preferring his tactics over President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Quinnipiac’s director, Maurice Carroll, said these numbers can be attributed to Mr. Christie’s full embrace of Mr. Obama in the wake of the storm.
“The storm-of-the-century brings out the best in Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Yorkers say. But that love fest between New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and President Barack Obama seems to have moved voters especially,” Mr. Carroll explained in a statement. “While all four leaders get very high marks – it seems a hug or two never hurts.”
On the steps of City Hall earlier this afternoon, council members and good-government advocates gathered to “sound the alarm” over problems that occurred during the September 13 primary elections, and urged both the Board of Elections and legislative bodies to act promptly to rectify the situation before November’s presidential election, when far more people are set to vote.
Councilman Jumaane Williams, who tweeted up a storm of frustration last Election Day and who led today’s event, urged everyone to pay particular attention to the tiny font size used on the ballots, which he said was significantly smaller than in past elections and created substantial problems for seniors unable to read the letters. To prove his point, he pointed to a poster that illustrated the smallness of the font. His colleague, Councilman Vinnie Gentile, channeled Jimmy McMillan, exclaiming, “The font is too damn small!”