Can Christine Quinn keep Gays and Irish Catholics happy in her run for NY mayor?-- Her outreach to Catholics and holding on to her core gay vote is a major multitask
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|City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Credit: International Business Times, Connor Adams Sheets|
Being both gay and Irish in New York is a difficult role for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Now the runaway favorite to be the next mayor, the 46-year-old will have major issues on both her ethnicity and her sexuality to resolve.
Ever since the St.Patrick’s Parade fracas involving the rights of gays to march, gays and Irish have often been at loggerheads.
One can certainly expect that outspoken Cardinal Timothy Dolan will keep his distance from Quinn over the next year and tip his red hat towards whoever her opponent is.
Dolan manages to disguise his iron fist inside a velvet glove and bask in positive media coverage of his attractive qualities of wit and humor.
But make no bones about it, he is doctrinaire on the issues such as gays in the St.Patrick’s Day Parade, not to mention in Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence, and he will look with a jaundiced eye on Quinn.
Quinn will have to face the thorny issue of whether she will walk in the St Patrick's Parade in 2013 and salute Dolan at the Fifth Avenue Cathedral of St.Patrick..
As Speaker she has refused to march, preferring instead the small inclusive parade in Queens instead.
Starting next March when the election campaign will be underway, Quinn will have to face a difficult decision.
Current mayor Michael Bloomberg has cut the baby in half and marched or spoken at both parades.
Quinn, so far, has not done that, but it might be a savvy political move to do that come St.Pat’s 2013.
To do so would be to send a message of equality to Irish Catholics too that she understands that there is a deeply held faith and devoutness there that she can relate to.
She is hardly likely to lose gay support as a result and she would certainly find such a move would be well received in the Irish redoubts in Queens and the Bronx where she needs to win.
Of course, her tactics on the parade may well be decided by who her ultimate opponent will be.
In the Democratic primary she will likely not face another Irish Catholic but if she runs up against Ray Kelly, the NYPD Commissioner, in the general, then that is a very different matter indeed.
Kelly is being love bombed by the GOP right now who see him as their savior.
Kelly will be seeking the Giuliani coalition of outer borough ethnic Catholics to ensure his victory.
In order to reach into that group, Quinn will have to make serious gestures in their direction and marching in next year's parade may be a deeply symbolic and important step.
Quinn takes Manhattan against all comers but it is the outer boroughs where the potential Kelly favoring voters reside, where she will have to seek a decent percentage.
All of which makes for a fascinating race ahead in 2013.
Quinn’s task may look like a mission impossible; keep Gays and Irish Catholics happy, but her hopes of winning City Hall may depend on it.
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