“Frontrunner” Clarke, Women and the 11th

yvette clarke at city hall.jpg
Juda Engelmayer, Chris Lanier
and Yvette Clarke after the rally

John Koblin has this dispatch from Yvette Clarke’s event with female supporters earlier today:

“If, from the first day of this race, I was a woman, then why wasn’t this always apart of the conversation?” asked Yvette Clarke before a rally at City Hall celebrating her femaleness.

Good question.

We asked her campaign manager, Chris Lanier, the same thing. He said he planned on doing a rally like this for the last two months but just hadn’t “gotten around to it.”

Well, at least not until consultant Juda Engelmayer and the 5W reps got involved with the campaign.

“It’s an obvious thing,” said Mr. Engelmayer, who was standing just off to the side. “If the media doesn’t see it, we help them find the story.”

If only the media were there to see it. Due to an unexpected press gathering for Mayor Michael Bloomberg in midtown this afternoon, most of the City Hall press corps the campaign was eyeing for the rally didn’t show. (There were a total of five reporters there for most of the event.)

“It’s disappointing it had to turn out this way,” Engelmayer said.

But it wasn’t all bad. For the benefit of the couple of cameras in evidence, Yvette Clarke got her photo-op surrounded by a team of about 40 women supporters, including Betsy Gotbaum.

For the benefit of her small-but-captive audience, Clarke declared herself the “frontrunner” in this race – despite Carl Andrews’ assessment – and said that she’s the only “authentic” candidate for the district’s female constituency.

When I asked Mr. Lanier if he thought his candidate was the frontrunner, he shook his head and said, “It’s just too hard to tell.”

– Josh Benson