Quinn for a Day: Christine Throws Herself a National Coming Out Party

Christine Quinn (Illustration by, Dale Stephanos)

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had been to the Democratic National Convention three times before, but this year’s event was different. These days, Ms. Quinn is widely seen as the front-runner in next year’s race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In May, just 10 days after President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, instantly making it one of the hottest topics of this election cycle, Ms. Quinn married her longtime partner Kim Catullo in a wedding that received almost Kardashian-esque coverage from New York’s political press corps and made her one of the highest-profile married, openly gay politicians in the country.

With her newfound notoriety, it would seem, the stars are aligning for Ms. Quinn to follow Mr. Bloomberg’s footsteps as the most prominent mayor in the country. However, she will first have to cut her path to City Hall through a crowded field of opponents and a Council that may include members eager to exact revenge on the outgoing speaker, while also battling the persistent impression she is a political stand-in, a Medvedev to Mr. Bloomberg’s Putin.

That said, she hasn’t formally announced her plans. When we asked whether she has her eye on City Hall, Ms. Quinn shook her head and repeated this reporter’s name at least eight times like a disappointed parent.

“You know, I am very lucky to have an amazing job as speaker of the City Council, in a way kind of beyond my wildest dreams. I’m here at the Democratic Convention as a delegate, so we’ll deal with 2013 later on,” she said, seated at a patio table at CNN’s pop-up DNC grill.

Still, Ms. Quinn’s growing star power bodes well for her probable mayoral run. She led in early fund-raising, and the most recent Quinnipiac University polling shows she has nearly three times as much support as any of her likely rivals.

Quinn for a Day: Christine Throws Herself a National Coming Out Party