Amid reports about her hot temper and profanity-laced rants, the City Council speaker and mayoral frontrunner embraced the fiery image in two national TV interviews - while saying she tries, not always successfully, not to let her emotions get the best of her and push her over the line.
“I have always said I’ve had a big personality, and I’ve always said I’m a pushy broad, and I’ve always said I want to get things done. And sometimes to get things done you have to be aggressive,” she said in an interview on MSNBC.
“Now I hope I’m never over the line and the times that I have made mistakes and been over the line I’m the first to pick up the telephone and make an apology,” she said. "But I’m passionate about the work I do, and I’m passionate and in a rush to make things better for New York City, and sometimes you have to push to make that happen. This is a tough town. You need tough people leading it.”
In a separate interview on CNN, Quinn denied dishing out political retaliation for personal slights - but did say she’s used force to get sometimes unwieldy Council members to fall in line. “I’ve tried very hard to bring discipline to the City Council, which was for many many years known a kind of an undisciplined body without focus. Now that means bringing order,” she said.
“At times I get really emotional about the work I’m doing,” Quinn said. “I’m an aggressive woman who gets things done and that’s the way it is. I’ve never been embarrassed about the fact that I am pushy and aggressive.”
In the NY Times article, Quinn admitted to having retaliated against a City Council member who failed to credit her in a public relations release statement:
Several people said that Ms. Quinn’s anger could extend beyond conversation: as speaker, she has used her control of the Council’s funding accounts to punish members who have defied her.When Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley issued a statement to community newspapers in her Queens district that took credit for saving local firehouses from the annual budget ax, she failed to praise Ms. Quinn. Within an hour, Ms. Crowley was called into a room at City Hall, where a livid Ms. Quinn began to shout at her, demanding to know who had authorized what she considered to be a premature and poorly worded release.An aide to Ms. Quinn, Ramon Martinez, criticized Ms. Crowley’s abilities as a lawmaker, at one point telling her, “You don’t know when to shut up,” according to people familiar with the episode. (Mr. Martinez, in an interview, said he did not recall using those words at the time, but added, “I certainly could have said that to her” in a separate conversation.)Shaken, Ms. Crowley left, thinking the worst was over. Days later, she learned that Ms. Quinn had cut the Council contributions to senior centers and youth sports programs in her district. The two now rarely speak.Asked about the episode last week, Ms. Quinn said that Ms. Crowley had committed “a completely inappropriate, attention-grabbing act” and violated Council protocol. “She was told it was not acceptable, and I did not mince words in telling her that,” she said.Did Ms. Crowley have her funding cut as a punishment? “It is what happened that year,” Ms. Quinn replied.Pressed on whether the move was an act of retaliation, Ms. Quinn just smiled: “It is what happened that year,” she said again, signaling that the matter was closed.
No matter how Quinn characterized the Crowley episode on CNN today, the New York Times article makes quite clear that she retaliated against a City Council member for not praising Quinn in her p.r. statement by cutting funding in that member's district for programs for the elderly and the young.
Quinn can try and spin that any way she wants, but the fact is, she cut programs for people who had done nothing to her because of a perceived slight.
That's not the act of a"pushy broad" looking to "get things done" by being "aggressive".
That's the act of a nasty, vindictive ego maniac lacking conscience and a sense of a right and wrong.