One day after Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon announced her candidacy for New York governor, Christine Quinn described her as an “unqualified lesbian.” Former New York City Council Speaker Quinn, who is also openly gay, apparently is miffed that Nixon backed Bill de Blasio instead of her in the Democratic primary when both politicians ran for the Big Apple’s mayor in 2013.
Team Nixon apparently is wasting no time in trying to fill its campaign coffers after the Quinn comment, the New York Post reports, calling upon supporters to send the Democratic establishment a message, which would thereby, the news outlet claims, “spin a political attack…into political gold.”
“The digital fundraising blitz by Nixon campaign manager Nicole Aro refers to ‘gutter politics’ comments by former Council Speaker Christine Quinn in Tuesday’s Post.”
The email fundraiser, which includes the unqualified lesbian quote, describes Quinn, without mentioning her by name, as a top surrogate for incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Nixon and Cuomo will face off in the September 2018 Democratic primary. Apparently, Cuomo is insufficiently progressive for a segment of the Democratic base in the state of New York, which is why Nixon is attempting to unseat him.
It is standard operating procedure for political campaigns to attempt to take immediate financial advantage of gaffes made by the opposition, whether they occur in the primary or in the general election.
In the Post interview on Tuesday, Christine Quinn was less than complimentary about the Cynthia Nixon for governor news.
“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City. Now she wants an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor. She’s an accomplished actress, a supporter of political causes and that’s a good thing. Participating in rallies is important. But she’s never run an organization. Being an actress and celebrity doesn’t make you qualified for public office. This is a time to move away from celebrity and toward progressive leadership.”
Cynthia Nixon's governor bid slammed by Christine Quinn: She's an 'unqualified lesbian' https://t.co/53ixiC038u— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 20, 2018
Quinn also dissed the Nixon campaign as a surprising “flight of fancy” for the actress.
In a four-part tweet, which presumably was prompted by an adverse reaction (see below), Christine Quinn subsequently apologized in a way, insisting that “Cynthia Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her candidacy” and reaffirming that the basis of her remarks revolved around qualifications for office or lack thereof.
Quinn also revisited the fact that Nixon supported de Blasio for mayor despite “qualified lesbian” Quinn’s extensive progressive credentials and record as an elected official as she self-evaluated.
To be clear, Cynthia Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her candidacy and it was not my intention to suggest it did. I want to be clear about that. I would never, EVER, criticize someone because of their identity. 1/4— Christine Quinn (@chriscquinn) March 20, 2018
I’ve experienced it time and time again, and would never support it or condone it. As a lesbian who ran one of the most high profile races in the country, i know what that’s like. And I know it’s imperative that we encourage more members of our community to run for office. 2/4— Christine Quinn (@chriscquinn) March 20, 2018
Cynthia Nixon aggressively opposed my candidacy in New York despite my qualifications for the office and despite my strong progressive credentials. I was attempting to make a comparison between the two of us. 3/4— Christine Quinn (@chriscquinn) March 20, 2018
The real point I am trying to make is that qualifications matter and records matter. I do not believe she has the qualifications or the record. 4/4— Christine Quinn (@chriscquinn) March 20, 2018
According to current opinion polls, Cuomo is a prohibitive favorite to win reelection to a third term, but a lot could change by Primary Day in New York on September 13. That said, it remains to be seen if the flight of fancy can or will take off. The primary victor is the likely winner in the November general election in the blue state.
Although the entertainment industry, at least publicly, is overwhelmingly liberal, the two most successful politicians to emerge from that milieu so far are Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
Watch Cynthia Nixon’s campaign announcement video below.