Scott Stringer may not have his rival’s personal fortune or notoriety, but he can throw a pretty swinging bash if the occasion calls for it.
Last night, a group of mostly 20 and 30-somethings gathered on an ivy-clad hotel patio, sipping wine to the tunes of Talking Heads and Radiohead, all in order to support Mr. Stringer’s comptroller campaign–and catch a glimpse of a host of celebrities, including Lena Dunham, the star of the hit television show Girls.
Mr. Stringer, currently Manhattan’s borough president, acknowledged his perceived appeal among younger voters, as he took to the podium about an hour and a half into the night’s event at the swanky Maritime Hotel in the Meatpacking District.
“The job of comptroller, I’d like to think I’ve made very cool around the country,” Mr. Stringer told the crowd. “No one ever thought that municipal finance could be sexy.”
Ms. Dunham, a close friend of Mr. Stringer’s long-time spokeswoman, concurred, as she showed up to voice her support for the candidate. But she acknowledged she’d had to do some research, first. “When he told me he was running for comptroller, the first thing I did was Google the word ‘comptroller,'” she quipped, prompting laughs.
Ms. Dunham nevertheless reassured the audience that the bespectacled Mr. Stringer was indeed the cool choice in the race–the option for people of her generation. And she contrasted Mr. Stringer’s values with his opponent, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace five years ago following a prostitution scandal.
“This is not a close call. We need a candidate with a record of respecting women and issues that matter to them,” she said, eliciting the largest applause of the evening. “Just because it’s New York City, doesn’t mean it’s going to be okay for us forever. There’s some like weird Red State stuff creeping in here and we know that.”
Ms. Dunham also listed some of Mr. Stringer’s recent accomplishments, including his drafting of a comprehensive report on New York City’s tech economy and his work on domestic violence and anti-stalking bills, the last of which, Ms. Dunham said, “is really great for me because I just can’t get rid of them hos.”
As Mr. Stringer made his way through the crowd, stopping to take pictures, he continued to criticize his opponent. “Some days, I have to admit, I feel like this is a two-ring circus,” he told Politicker.
While the attendees were generally impressed by Mr. Stringer’s address, some were not entirely swayed that Mr. Spitzer would be all that bad if he were to emerge the victor.
“I’ve felt fairly positive about both Spitzer and Stringer,” said Michael Morris, 48. “I sort of prefer the two of them to most of the mayoral candidates. But unfortunately, they’re both running for comptroller.”
“I think he did an excellent job as an attorney general, no question in my mind,” added Earl Scott, an ardent Stringer supporter. When asked whether Mr. Spitzer’s personal baggage would affect his race, he said the decision wasn’t up to him.
“Voters will decide,” said Mr. Scott, “and that’s the way it should be.”