The story that seems to have been intentionally leaked, or planted in The New York Times, that Mayor Michael Bloomberg approached Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for mayor in 2013 is full of half-truths. First, it was an attempt to saddle Mrs. Clinton in another public office, so that she would not run for president in 2016, a win for Republicans. Second, it was an attempt to make it appear that Mayor Bloomberg was not so invested in electioneering machinations to clear the Democratic Primary field for the mayoralty, so that Speaker Christine Quinn could have an easier time at winning, because, as we all know, the only way that she can win is if a billionaire Republican with his own Super PAC would interfere with the election process.
From The Wall Street Journal :
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg organized an awkward show of unity with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, standing side by side at a press conference Tuesday following reports that he had discussed next year’s mayoral race with Hillary Clinton.
Quinn, of course, is the mayor’s political ally and the potential candidate widely viewed as his favored successor. Bloomberg on Tuesday didn’t confirm or deny a report in the New York Times that he has sought to lure Clinton into the race.
When asked why he recommended that the current U.S. secretary of state consider running for mayor, Bloomberg replied: “Why do you think I encouraged Hillary Clinton to run for mayor? I mean, were you — did you hear me say that?”
“I have run for mayor three times, successfully each one,” he added. “I considered a fourth. Chris [Quinn] and I talked about it. She kept urging me to do it. But I said, ‘No. It’s enough.’ ”
The mayor was joking about running for a fourth term. As he did so, Quinn made a face and motioned with her hand to suggest Bloomberg was talking crazy.
In 2008, Quinn reversed her position on term limits and persuaded her colleagues in the City Council to overturn the law, paving the way for the Bloomberg to run for a third term in 2009. As she pursues an expected mayoral campaign in 2013, her position on term limits will certainly be brought up by her opponents.
On Tuesday morning, however, Bloomberg focused more on extolling Quinn’s leadership. He said her role in the council had been a major factor in his success at City Hall.
The two politicians were speaking at a news conference marking the ground breaking at a 26-acre development on Manhattan’s West Side. During the mayor’s first term in office, he attempted unsuccessfully to win approval to build a stadium at this location — marking one of his biggest setbacks. Quinn, who was not yet speaker, fought aggressively against the stadium.
Bloomberg did not dwell on that Tuesday. “This woman has made an enormous difference in this city,” he said of Quinn. “She’s a leader and I have nothing but respect for her.”
When asked if he’s dissatisfied with the current crop of mayoral candidates, the mayor said: “I don’t know who’s going to run. But if you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you’re not going to do it. It’s cheap, lousy journalism.”
For her part, Quinn said she thought Clinton would make an excellent mayor. Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, is planning to step down as secretary of state next year and is being discussed as a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2016.
“You know, I think Hillary Clinton would excel in any position she ever takes. And why do I say that? Because she has,” Quinn said. “I don’t think there’s anything Hillary Clinton would put her mind to that she wouldn’t do extremely, extremely well — better than maybe anybody else who’s ever done it.”