Weiner Gets Comfortable With 1199

Here’s video Azi shot of Representative Anthony Weiner, a likely mayoral candidate, speaking at a rally for 1199, one of

Here’s video Azi shot of Representative Anthony Weiner, a likely mayoral candidate, speaking at a rally for 1199, one of the most powerful unions in the state.

"I want to be as comfortable as I can," Weiner said, taking the stage, pulling a union t-shirt from his back pocket, and putting it on.

"You can either be on the 1199 bandwagon, or under the 1199 bandwagon," he told the crowd.

Bill Thompson and Christine Quinn, Weiner’s main rivals in the mayoral race, also spoke at the Madison Square Garden event.

UPDATE: More from Azi:

In addition to the three likely mayoral candidates, the event drew Senator Chuck Schumer, Al Sharpton and Governor David Paterson, whose unannounced visit surprised organizers.

“He decided at the very last minute to go,” said Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield, explaining why it wasn’t on the governor’s public schedule.

The rally was ostensibly about calling for improving salaries for home health aide workers, many of whom earn less than $10 an hour and are in contract negotiations with various city and state agencies. But the rally also served as the latest opportunity for elected officials to show support for the union, whose endorsement is a crucial one for candidates on the state and city level.

“There really are only a couple of ways you can go here,” said Anthony Weiner told the crowd. “You can either be on the 1199 bandwagon, or under the 1199 bandwagon.” He was wearing the union’s purple-and-gold t-shirt over a white dress shirt.

“We are big, we are loud and we will get a contract with your company, so settle now,” said Christine Quinn, to the loud approval of the crowd.

“In some places, if somebody got $20 and gave those who are doing the work seven and eight dollars, it might be against the law,” said Bill Thompson. He went on to say, “It is a new day and we won’t stand for this.”

Weiner Gets Comfortable With 1199