Friday, December 19, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Speaker – and a Big Laugher – Returns to the Arena

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It was almost a year ago that we saw a remarkable political implosion by one of the city's most prominent elected officials. Christine Quinn, the smart and canny leader of the City Council, was amazingly silenced after a third-place finish in the Democratic primary for mayor – getting just 16 percent of the vote, finishing far behind Bill de Blasio.

It was a public dressing down for a woman who had to artfully balance the needs of her 50 fellow City Council members – who she often had to herd like cats – while also dealing with the billionaire who occupied City Council's West Wing, Michael Bloomberg.

But you can ask Peter Vallone or Gifford Miller how difficult it is to translate strong political acumen in the Council chambers and take it on the campaign trail citywide. (I hope Melissa Mark-Viverito is taking notes somewhere.) And both Mark Green and de Blasio can tell you that being Public Advocate means never having to say you're sorry – allowing you to be Santa Claus when you run for mayor.

Putting all that behind Quinn – and I'm sure she'd like us to – she's re-emerging this month with a new role as a board member with the prominent abortion rights group, Naral Pro-Choice New York. Quinn has also been speaking up as a surrogate for Gov. Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul.

Intentionally or not, Quinn's re-emergence will certainly have the city's political denizens wonder: What does Chris want?

But politicians who are putting their toes back in the water often aren't yet sure. It's also unclear what job would be out there for her – with City Hall occupied by a very tall man who will be running for re-election in three years and Quinn's logical place in Congress blocked by either Jerry Nadler or Carolyn Maloney.

Tonight, Quinn will be back on "Inside City Hall" for the first time since her mayoral campaign last year to discuss New York's future – as well as her own. It's a familiar laugh that we haven't heard for too long.

Bob Hardt

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