During the Democratic primary, feminist icon Gloria Steinem was one of failed mayoral candidate Christine Quinn’s biggest fans. But as Ms. Quinn’s chief rival, Bill de Blasio, prepares to take office, Ms. Steinem says she’s thrilled to welcome the incoming mayor following an election she said reminded her a lot of the 2008 presidential primary won by Barack Obama.
After an electoral loss, it’s never hard to find pundits who, with the benefit of hindsight, can tell you exactly what went wrong.
Still, the long, brutal decline of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign stands out. She had dominated the early polls of the race—at one point approaching the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Last night, as the votes poured in, she was ultimately relegated to a distant third, holding just 15.5 percent of the primary vote.
At her somber election party, campaign staffers and surrogates acknowledged they had underestimated voters’ deep frustrations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and demand for a change in leadership—a message seized on early by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the decisive winner in the race. “New Yorkers have made it clear that they want a very different direction,” said Ms. Quinn’s campaign spokesman Mike Morey, referring to what he coined “Bloomberg fatigue.”
According to recent polls, former mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn is in trouble. Some now have her in third place–trailing Public Advocate Bill de Blasio by as many as 15-points–and even ardent supporters seem genuinely concerned that she might not make the expected runoff following next Tuesday’s primary.
But Ms. Quinn on Monday seemed as confident as ever as she campaigned in Astoria, Queens, following the West Indian Day Parade. Dressed in bright pink pants, a t-shirt and sandals, Ms. Quinn greeted excited voters in the immigrant-heavy neighborhood who repeatedly assured the candidate she’d do just fine.
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who has come under repeated fire from women’s groups and feminist leaders for his online sexting habits, is touting his credentials fighting for women’s rights.
In a fund-raising email today to supporters titled “Continuing the Fight for Women’s Equality,” Mr. Weiner, whose mayoral campaign is sputtering in the polls, marked Women’s Equality Day by touting his record advocating for women.
Comptroller hopeful Scott Stringer wants to use the city’s financial clout to boost the number of women serving in the country’s corporate boardrooms.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day–and in what some may see as a subtle dig against rival Eliot Spitzer and the infamous prostitution scandal that ended Mr. Spitzer’s governorship–Mr. Stringer will roll out plans today to encourage greater female representation at the highest levels of corporate power, with proposals that include the appointment of a “chief diversity officer” in the comptroller’s office.
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.
Sandra Fluke, the women’s rights activist who shot into the national spotlight after being called a “slut” by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, has endorsed Christine Quinn’s bid to become the city’s first female and openly gay mayor.
Not only is she endorsing Ms. Quinn but she’s pounding the pavement. Ms. Fluke, who flew in from California for the occasion, is spending the day campaigning alongside Ms. Quinn, who has been increasingly touting the historical significance of her bid.
“I think Chris has the record that shows that she can accomplish real progress for New Yorkers and she has the seriousness as a candidate,” Ms. Fluke told Politicker this morning while greeting commuters alongside the City Council speaker on the Upper West Side.