Just seventeen days before the September 10 New York City primaries, Democrat Christine Quinn has snagged the most powerful and strongest endorsement possible. The New York Times tonight has thrown its formidable weight and voice in favor of the 47-year old Speaker of the New York City Council in the Democratic primary. Quinn “is a candidate who is ready to carry on at least as well as” the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg has, the Times writes — hardly a stunning endorsement, given the controversies surrounding the Independent and former Republican billionaire.
But the “newspaper of record” also offers that Quinn is “an impressive leader” who “has shepherded through important laws protecting New Yorkers’ health, safety and civil rights.”
Mr. Bloomberg has raised expectations that hard decisions should be made on the merits — that the city needs a mayor who is willing to say no. More than with the other candidates, that description fits Ms. Quinn. As an early leader in the campaign, with a target on her back, she has faced anger and derision without wavering.
As the Times notes, the field is broad on the Democrats’ side, and though the paper also offers an endorsement of a Republican in the GOP primary, there is no possibility of any Republican winning the NYC mayoral race this year.
Quinn “is one of seven Democrats who have been toiling for months in the primary race, standing before voters day and night in a marathon of civic engagement.”
A common complaint is that this year’s candidates look small, like dots on the slopes of Mount Bloomberg. But that isn’t fair; all but a few are solid public servants running substantive campaigns.
For those more leftward or progressive leaning, the endorsement may come as a disappointment, as Bill de Blasio has pulled in front of Quinn in the latest poll. Widely favored by the progressive left, the Times passes him over.
Mr. de Blasio has been the most forceful and eloquent of the Democrats in arguing that New York needs to reset its priorities in favor of the middle class, the struggling and the poor. His stature has grown as his message has taken root — voters leery of stark and growing inequalities have embraced his message of “two cities.” He has ennobled the campaign conversation by insisting, correctly, that expanding early education is vital to securing the city’s future. And yet, Mr. de Blasio’s most ambitious plans — like a powerful new state-city partnership to make forever-failing city hospitals financially viable, or to pay for universal prekindergarten and after-school programs through a new tax on the richest New Yorkers — need support in the State Capitol, and look like legislative long shots. Once a Mayor de Blasio saw his boldest ideas smashed on the rocks of Albany, then what?
It’s safe to say that the LGBT community has not offered Quinn their unwavering devotion or support, despite that she is a lesbian and lives in Manhattan’s historically LGBT neighborhood of Chelsea. Some in the LGBT community support her, some do not, and some are unsure.
Quinn also won the endorsement of the NY Daily News, owned by billionaire real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman, just two days ago.
Seventeen days is not a long time to decide.
What LGBT New Yorkers cannot afford to do is sit this one out — regardless of whom you decide to support.
— Christine Quinn (@Quinn4NY) August 24, 2013
Useful reminder that the whatever it's politics, in NYC, the @nytimes is very much the paper of the Establishment.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 25, 2013
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