It was mostly smiles for Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn under the burning sun outside of City Hall this afternoon.
She accepted new endorsements from two council members from Brooklyn, Stephen Levin and Michael Nelson, as well as two from Queens, Mark Weprin and James Gennaro–all of whom spoke to her established record, which they contended distinguishes her from the other candidates running for office.
“Let me get right to it,” Mr. Gennaro said. “Whatever you care about in New York City, whatever issue you care about in New York City, Chris Quinn has a record of accomplishment–a record of solid accomplishment in whatever issue you care about. Not a phrase, not a slogan, not a word picture. An actual record of leadership.”
“Madam Speaker, I look forward in seven months to calling you Madam Mayor,” Mr. Levin said to a beaming Speaker Quinn who graciously kissed him on the cheek afterwards. And so on for Mr. Weprin and Mr. Nelson.
The endorsements today were largely unsurprising. Mr. Gennaro, for instance, has been functioning as an informal attack dog for the Quinn campaign on a variety of issues. And Ms. Quinn was previously endorsed by the Queens County Democratic organization, and loyal members like Mr. Weprin were likely to follow suit. Nevertheless, it’s a component of Ms. Quinn’s larger strategy: steadily and slowly growing the list of colleagues backing her bid for Gracie Mansion.
Ms. Quinn, however, didn’t strike exclusively positive notes this afternoon. Asked about former Gov. Eliot Spitzer nearly tearing up during an appearance on Morning Joe this morning (she appeared shortly after), Ms. Quinn said she hadn’t seen a clip, but launched into a critique of both Mr. Spitzer and another scandal scarred pol, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, one of her main rivals in the mayor’s race.
“I, as much as anybody else, believe in second chances. None of us are perfect. In every way, but particularly in elected life, you need to earn a second chance. So the question is what have Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer done to earn a second chance?” she said, echoing comments she made yesterday. “What have they done with their time since their fall from grace that would earn them this second choice–chance. I would say not very much.”
She connected the issue to “the future of women.”
“This race and the future of women is an incredibly important question,” she added. “And women deserve elected officials who dedicated–whatever their gender is–their lives to serving them, making their lives better, who conducted themselves in honest, selfless ways. So I go back to my point before, what have these two men done since their fall from grace, to make it clear to women–and men for that matter–that their selfish, dishonest ways are behind them?”
Lauren Skowronski, a spokeswoman at MSNBC, confirmed to Politicker that the two candidates didn’t see each other in the green room of the studio. Spokespersons for Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Weiner didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Update (7:05 p.m.): Mr. Weiner’s spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, issued the following response to Ms. Quinn’s earlier broadsides:
“Anthony believes New York City needs a fighter for the middle class and those struggling to make it there. His laser-like focus on issues and new ideas has made him a disrupter in the race for mayor so it is not surprising that his opponents may want to go to the old politics playbook of negative attacks. Anthony is offering New Yorkers a choice by running a different type of campaign.”