Tonight, the Democratic mayoral candidates faced off in their first broadcast television debate. (This is in addition to approximately 2,000 non-televised candidate forums.) Here are the highs, the lows, the smackdowns, and the clenched jaws.
Amount of Time Candidates Spoke After Being Instructed to Give an Opening Statement of "Exactly 30 Seconds":
42 seconds: John Liu
35 seconds: Christine Quinn
32 seconds: Bill de Blasio
30 seconds: Bill Thompson
25 seconds: Anthony Weiner
Time Until Bill de Blasio Said the Phrase "A Tale of Two Cities": Two minutes and 24 seconds
Time Until Bill de Blasio Said the Phrase "A Tale of Two Cities" a Second Time: Two minutes and 51 seconds
Where the Candidates Stand on Stop-and-Frisk:
Christine Quinn: "Unconstitutional stops will end" when she's mayor.
Anthony Weiner: "Too many people are being stopped who did nothing wrong."
Bill Thompson: "Apply the correct training, but [ensure] that peoples' constitutional rights are protected."
John Liu: "It's time to end stop-and-frisk, let's have community policing."
Bill de Blasio: "We need a ban on racial profiling, we need that to be a matter of city law."
Time Until the First Mention of the Weiner Scandal: Ten minutes and 20 seconds.
What Grade the Candidates Would Give Mayor Bloomberg's Third Term:
F: Bill de Blasio
F: John Liu
Gutless Candidates Who Refused to Give Mayor Bloomberg a Grade:
Christine Quinn ("I think a question like this is too complicated to boil down into just a letter grade.")
Bill Thompson, because Bloomberg shouldn't have had a third term to begin with.
Anthony Weiner ("I'm not sure how important my grade would be, but I ask those struggling in the middle class ... ")
Top Six Smackdowns:
6. Quinn slams de Blasio for criticizing her for wanting to keep Ray Kelly as police commissioner, when he wants to appoint Kelly's second in command.
5. Weiner telling Thompson that you didn't run for mayor in 2005 because you "didn't want to take me on."
4. Weiner says Quinn supported Mayor Bloomberg's bid for a third term because she "didn't believe that she was up to the job."
3. Quinn points out that Weiner, who had casted his competitors as insidery politicians, would be a politician himself if he hadn't resigned in disgrace (for the penis thing!)
2. Weiner claims that de Blasio is different than Quinn only because Quinn has been "more successful" and de Blasio has "never gotten over" that she was elected to City Council speaker.
1. Quinn proclaims that Anthony Weiner has no right to ask anyone to apologize for anything, ever. (Because of the penis thing!)
Most Clenched Jaw: Anthony Weiner's jaw when Christine Quinn was saying that.
The Most Boring Responses to the "Name One Thing That Would Surprise New Yorkers About You" Question, in Ascending Order of Boringness:
John Liu: "I like to surf, I like to ski, snowboard, and skateboard. And for some reason, some guy got a video of me skateboarding just a few days ago, so that secret's out."
Anthony Weiner: "That after midnight on Monday nights, I play ice hockey. I'm probably the only 130-pound Jewish kid in the city that does that, but that's what I do."
Chistine Quinn: "I am not a natural redhead. Maybe actually that I was my college mascot, I was a fighting rooster."
Bill de Blasio: "I went to high school with Patrick Ewing, but he made it to the NBA and I didn't."
Bill Thompson: "That in almost any sport that I've ever played, I'm incredibly competitive. Uh, very competitive."
Candidates Who Apparently Weigh the Same Amount as a Newborn Giraffe: Anthony Weiner.
Friendliest Moment: When Weiner and Thompson spoke out against the Campaign Finance Board's decision to deny John Liu public matching funds because of alleged "pervasive" fundraising violations.
Worst Canned Line: "Are we in a mayoral debate or are we in the Twilight Zone?" — John Liu
Most Meaningless Platitude: "This campaign isn't about me, and really is not about anyone on stage, it's about you." — Anthony Weiner. Okay, but it's also about ... the candidates.