City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Congressman Anthony Weiner received a round of boos this afternoon when they appeared at a fast food workers rally–one they were there to support–in Union Square.
Ms. Quinn and Mr. Weiner joined the three other leading Democratic mayoral candidates and a slew of other pols showed up en mass to declare their support for fast food workers participating in a nation-wide strike today. Hundreds of workers from chains including McDonald’s and Burger King were present to demand higher wages and union benefits–and listen to the candidates flex their progressive credentials less than two weeks before primary day. But not everyone was warmly welcomed.
“You know what, you can’t live on $7.25,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was booed by the crowd as she took the stage, despite having appeared at another rally for the workers at 6 a.m.
Still, she powered on. “We can’t have a city where hard-working men and women like you aren’t getting paid a decent wage when the companies you work for are making money hand over fist,” she said. “So I pledge you my support like I was there this morning with you at 6 a.m. We’re going to keep fighting until we get what? $15 and a union!”
Like Ms. Quinn, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is also seen by some as one of the more moderate candidates in the race, was jeered by some. Still, he tried to emphasize the importance of a single-payer healthcare system to help address inequities, pointing dramatically at nearby buildings to underscore his message.
“I want to say something to the owner of that penthouse up there, the owner of that penthouse up there, and the people staying in the W Hotel over there, And I ask all New Yorkers: How much does that $1 hamburger cost you? If you think $1, think again,” he said.
The darling of the rally was the race’s new front-runner, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has consistently sold himself as the most progressive candidate in the race. Appearing with his wife by his side, Mr. de Blasio strode on and off the stage with cheers of “Bill de bla-sio!” and “Our next mayor!” from members of New York Communities for Change, a de Blasio-supporting group which had packed into the crowd.
I wonder what Quinn and Weiner think about at night when they're home, away from the crowds and the staff and the noise and blather of the campaign.
They can't really be enjoying this anymore, can they?
Isn't it obvious to Weiner he's finished?
And for Quinn, doesn't she see lots of people despise her?
Not the right ones you want despising you, either, but little people and regular folks who used to be supporters of her but now have turned into mortal enemies.
Weiner has to hire people to make it look like he's got supporters and Quinn has to embargo her schedule to keep her dedicated cadre of protesters from finding her and making trouble at her events.
This can't be fun for either of them anymore.
They both have to know, on some deep level, it's over.