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.
“I know New Yorkers pride themselves on living in a progressive city and so it’s time that there be a woman mayor in New York,” she added. “It’s hard to believe that it’s taken this long.”
Ms. Quinn’s camp touted Ms. Fluke’s presence this morning with a series of posters reading “Meet Sandra Fluke,” drawn in blue magic marker, posted around the 72nd Street subway stop.
“Stand up for women’s rights!” Ms. Fluke proclaimed as she handed out palm cards to busy commuters. “Chris Quinn for mayor! … First woman mayor of New York!”
While other candidates have been touting their own celebrity backers, Ms. Fluke’s presence seemed to be especially relevant for many women in the neighborhood, who seemed starstruck when they realized who Ms. Fluke was.
“Oh my god! Oh my god, you’re famous!” exclaimed Andrea Monfried, 47, who lives in the neighborhood and stopped to chat with the women’s healthcare and reproductive rights’ advocate.
“This is so cool! She’s like a celebrity to me!” added Liz Cossio, 23, who said she planned to support Ms. Quinn partially because of her record on women’s and LGBT rights. Ms. Cossio said she felt Ms. Quinn’s election as the first female mayor was also significant–but said she hoped that wouldn’t be the case for long.
“I would like it to be a significance that eventually doesn’t matter,” she said. “I think we’re not completely there.”
“She’s an inspiration,” added Jane Dockery, 70, who’s visiting from Florida but said she is rooting for Ms. Quinn. “She has nerve and so vivacious. And she’s willing to get out there. I think that’s wonderful,” she said of Ms. Fluke.
Asked about the controversy surrounding the misbehaving men in this year’s races, Ms. Fluke said she had “concerns about” mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s behavior, but would not join the chorus demanding that he and scandal-scarred comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer exit the political arena.
“Some of the candidates have made what should be an important election about policies that matter to New Yorkers into a circus,” she argued. “I think where our focus needs to be is on who can be a great mayor for New York … That’s why I’m focusing on helping Chris.”