Christine Quinn’s close identification with Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a key factor in her losing the New York Democratic mayoral primary, but “there was a gender and a gay issue” as well, says her chief strategist, Josh Isay.
Isay made the remark in an interview with the website Capital New York. He said he believed the victory of Bill de Blasio in the primary last Tuesday “was, in many ways, a reaction to Bloomberg,” who has been a generally popular mayor but had some opposition among liberal New Yorkers. Quinn, the City Council speaker and a longtime Bloomberg ally, “could not be the opposition candidate,” Isay said. She tried, he said, to be the “‘We want progress, but for everyone’ kind of candidate,” but that message did not get across.
Also, Quinn, who would have been the city’s first female and first openly gay mayor, saw her gender and sexual orientation count against her somewhat, Isay said. “I think that there was a gender and a gay issue here that is not homophobia or sexism per se, but is the way society and people view women and gays and how they relate to them,” he said.
Some journalists related stories of Quinn’s hot temper, and that hurt her in a way it wouldn’t hurt a man, Isay added. “A man who has a bad temper, people interpret as, ‘leader, getting things done,’” he said. “A woman with a bad temper is mean and a bitch.”