Members of the audience called her a “liar,” an opponent relentlessly attacked her, and the moderator at one point had to beg the scornful crowd to let her speak.
On Saturday, a forum of five Democratic mayoral candidates on the topic of public housing turned into a startling show of hostility toward the woman regarded as the front-runner in the New York race, Christine C. Quinn. The audience at the forum — sponsored by Teamsters Local 237 and the nonprofit Community Service Society — seemed to regard Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, as a doppelgänger of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and directed its anger about his housing and policing policies toward her.
Under what appeared to be an arrangement with the organizers, Ms. Quinn arrived about halfway into the forum at the Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple on West 14th Street. When she took her place onstage, she was greeted with jeers that did not end even when she apologized, explaining that she had had a previous commitment to speak at an anti-bullying event.
Later, as Ms. Quinn was outlining her record of fighting for tenants’ rights on the City Council, the audience, made up largely of public housing residents and members of Teamsters Local 237, began heckling her. Some shouted, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” One woman stood up and began shouting a litany of accusations, ultimately drowning out Ms. Quinn. Security guards came over to silence the woman, and the moderator, the New York Times columnist Michael Powell, begged the audience to give Ms. Quinn a chance to be heard.
Through all of this, Ms. Quinn remained impassive, frowning and sitting with her shoulders slightly hunched, but not responding to the insults.
One of Ms. Quinn’s opponents, Bill de Blasio, took several opportunities to criticize her.
Before Ms. Quinn arrived, Mr. de Blasio responded to a question about the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy: “I know Speaker Quinn has chosen not to be with us yet,” then criticized her support of the current police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly.
“Unlike Speaker Quinn, I think we need a new police commissioner,” said Mr. de Blasio, the public advocate.
Later, he said that “we have Speaker Quinn to thank” for Mr. Bloomberg’s third term and twice accused her of being the preferred candidate of the real estate industry – a damning aspersion in a crowd of public housing tenants.
In the closing statements, after Ms. Quinn had noted her past as a tenant organizer, Mr. de Blasio said: “I’ve got to have a moment of truth here. Maybe 20 years ago, Speaker Quinn, you were a tenant organizer. But here, in 2013, you are the real estate community’s best friend.”
Ms. Quinn has received about $1.3 million from real estate industry donors, significantly more than any other candidate.
I have long said she's a paper tiger frontrunner.
It's starting to show.
De Blasio needs to get some movement in the polls, so that's why he's going hard at her.
But I find the crowd beating her up the much more interesting (and positive) occurrence here.