This week's New York Magazine
cover story on Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was supposed to provide publicity for her campaign, but it was the story's revelations about the mayor's peccadillos that made headlines instead.
Quinn, 46, the first female and first openly gay speaker, appears on the cover of the Feb. 4 issue of the city magazine, along with an eight-page profile.
"With an approval rating in the mid-60s, she is by far the most popular Democrat in the city, and she polls at 35 percent in a Democratic primary," writes Jonathan Van Meter. "She long ago raised the $4.9 million she's allowed under the city’s public-financing system, and she’s received high-profile endorsements from groups like Emily’s List and the United Food & Commercial Workers union."
The candor in the piece was unusual, albeit refreshing, but it was details about Bloomberg's professional manners that were really surprising.
Van Meter included an anecdote in the Quinn story, which detailed a party he attended a few weeks ago at an Upper East Side town house.
"Later in the evening, the host interrupted me to point out that the mayor himself had just arrived. Did I want to meet him? Sure," Van Meter writes. "My friend and I followed the host over, shook Bloomberg’s hand, and my friend thanked him for his position on gun control. Without even acknowledging the comment, Bloomberg gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown standing nearby and said, 'Look at the a** on her.'"
Quinn also said Bloomberg often criticizes her appearance. She told New York Magazine that the mayor will "yell" at her for wearing flat shoes or for letting her roots grow in too much.
The lowbrow remarks drew immediate criticism online, with many calling the comments "sexist" and "inappropriate."
But Joyce Purnick, author of "Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics," told the New York Daily News that the mayor has toned it down considerably during his City Hall tenure.
"It was part of his Wall Street past and his businessman past," Purnick said. "He used to use salty language quite often, even in his early days as mayor, but I thought it was something he got over. I would be surprised if he was still using that kind of language in public."
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