Cynthia Nixon has been a candidate for New York governor for roughly 24 hours — and allies of Andrew Cuomo are already attacking her with fire and fury (and/or, condescension and contempt) like the Sex and the City star has definitely seen.
“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City,” former City Council speaker Christine Quinn told the New York Post Tuesday, referring to Nixon’s decision to endorse Bill de Blasio over herself in the 2013 New York City mayoral race. “Now she wants to be 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.”
It seems unlikely that Nixon opposed Quinn’s 2013 candidacy because she did not like the idea of a “qualified lesbian” running the Big Apple (and even less likely, that this objection was rooted in a belief that only unqualified lesbians are fit to hold public office). And Quinn subsequently clarified on Twitter that she did not actually believe this was the case.
The former City Council speaker came closer to landing a clean punch in questioning how Nixon would be able to manage a complex state bureaucracy when “she’s never run an organization.” By contrast, Quinn argued, Cuomo had already proven his competence and progressive values by passing a $15 minimum wage and marriage quality, and “opposing fracking.”
“Why are we having this primary?” Quinn asked. “Democrats should be united and focusing on winning control of the State Senate and taking back the House of Representatives.”
One answer to Quinn’s question: Progressives believe (with some cause) that Cuomo has abetted GOP control of the State Senate by coddling the turncoat Democrats of the IDC and approving gerrymandered district maps that aid upstate Republicans — and (with indisputable cause) that Albany is a bastion of corruption where well-heeled interests (most conspicuously, New York City developers) can purchase favors at bargain prices.
Nixon referred to the latter point in her response to Quinn. “Her being a lesbian and my being a lesbian” is not the issue, the gubernatorial candidate told the Post, adding that the race was about “the corruption in Albany. It’s time for an outsider. I’m not an Albany insider.”