“I didn’t lie to the people of the City of New York and say I wasn’t gonna overturn term limits."
Yesterday Quinn returned the favor, comparing her honesty to Weiner's dishonesty:
In her attacks on Mr. Weiner, she has portrayed him as a man with little fidelity to the truth who now lacks the credibility and stature required of a big-city mayor. Her advisers are hoping such a message resonates with voters who are outraged not only about Mr. Weiner’s racy online escapades but also the fact that he led them to believe when he entered the race that he had ended such behavior when he resigned from Congress and sought therapy.
“You need a New Yorker who is going to be straightforward about the truth, particularly when it isn’t what people want to hear, particularly in the tough, tough moments,” Ms. Quinn said.
The city does need a mayor who is going to be straightforward about the truth.
That person would not be Christine Quinn.
Let's review how "straightforward about the truth" she was when she helped Bloomberg overturn term limits so he could run for a third term, via Chris Smith of New York Magazine:
For years, Quinn opposed term limits, a position that helped her get elected speaker by fellow Council members in 2005. Once in the job, though, she commissioned a poll, and it showed that the public opposed tinkering with them. In December 2007, Quinn declared that repealing term limits would be “anti-democratic,” a position she called “firm and final.”
Well, for ten months. In the spring of 2008, a slush-fund scandal enveloped the City Council. Quinn was never implicated, and made changes to tighten accountability, but the mess hurt her chances of being elected mayor in 2009. Congressman Anthony Weiner, who’d run a smart 2005 mayoral-primary campaign, loomed as a strong contender. Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s presidential dream collapsed, and his business pals began rallying for four more years. In September came the global financial crisis. At the time, Quinn said she was waiting for the mayor’s decision before making up her own mind about term limits, but one member of the Bloomberg camp says Quinn’s support was never in doubt. “She went through this whole period of, uh, reflection,” the Bloomberg insider says with a laugh, “but it was clearly in her interest to hit the PAUSE button on a race for mayor.”
Quinn says, vehemently, that the economy was the reason she flipped on term limits and that her own career prospects had nothing to do with it. “At that moment in time, I was extremely worried about the impact of the economy on New York City,” she tells me. “And I was really worried about the impact that a wholesale change in government would have on the ability of the city to recover. I thought it was appropriate to give New Yorkers a choice, at the ballot box, to either keep some level of consistent leadership in city government or to change. I have no regrets about the decision I made. The term-limits decision and [my political prospects] couldn’t have less to do with each other. When I made the decision about term limits, it was exclusively based on the economic situation.”
Inflexibility in the face of an emergency, she says, would have been a mistake for the city. “With elected officials, and with human beings, you say what you mean, you say what you believe, and sometimes things change,” Quinn says. “Things evolve. And then you’ve got to stand up and say this is why things have changed. And then you’ve got to accept the consequences of that as a leader.”
When it came to rounding up the necessary 26 council votes, Bloomberg didn’t leave the task completely to Quinn, mounting a muscular political operation. The mayor’s men weren’t exactly pushing against a locked door: Most council members were eager to hold on to their jobs. Yet persuading individual members to take a controversial vote was tricky, and Quinn’s strategizing played an important role. “We worked hand in glove with her and her staff,” a Bloomberg aide says.“Certain members were undecided, and you had to compare notes on what their issues were. Sometimes there are things that are desired that one side can’t offer but the other side can. It was a joint effort.” One council member says he got multiple calls from Quinn lieutenants dangling a committee chairmanship in exchange for a “yes” vote. “The mistake people make with Christine is they think, She’s from Manhattan, she’s gay, and hence she’s a liberal,” he says. “But at heart she’s really an old-school Irish boss.”
Quite frankly, there is nothing "straightforward" or "truthful" about Christine Quinn.
Her term limit flip-flop, her bribing council members with committee chairmanships, her threatening to retaliate against council members who didn't vote to give Bloomberg his third (illegal) term, her secret machinations to make sure Bloomberg got what he wanted - there is nothing "straightforward" or "truthful" about any of this.
The NY Times article on Quinn today reports that her campaign is "delighted" at Weiner's travails and loves comparing his dishonesty with Quinn's "straightforwardness."
But let's remember, before Weiner entered the race and made "sexting" the biggest tabloid issue of the campaign, Quinn's flip-flop on term limits was that issue.
Just because Anthony Weiner has been exposed as a liar and a serial sex freak doesn't take away the fact that a good part of the Democratic electorate views Christine Quinn as a liar and a bullshit artist.
Weiner's fall does help Quinn in that it pretty much ensures she makes the runoff in September.
But once she gets to that runoff, she is going to have to convince the Democratic electorate that her betrayal over term limits, her use of a slush fund to reward council members, and the notoriety she has for punishing enemies by defunding projects in their districts like senior citizens programs and tuition aid for college students isn't a problem.
So far, polls show she has an upward battle to do that in a runoff against either Thompson or de Blasio.