Last month, as the media obsessed over the Anthony Weiner "scandal," Christine Quinn, the (former?) mayoral race frontrunner, scolded Weiner for allowing his behavior to detract from real issues. As she said at the time,
"It's sad the mayor's race has become such a circus," Quinn declared. "We really need to have a real race about things that matter to voters. Weiner has shown just a pattern of reckless behavior, an inability to tell the truth, and what New Yorkers deserve is a mayor with a record of delivering for them, of vision, and a level of maturity and responsibility. … I just really want the race to get back to those kind of conversations, and not the circus that we see that is somewhat like Groundhog Day and has been stuck in for quite some time."
She added, "I think everybody needs to do everything they can to keep the mayor's race focused on the people that matter, 8.4 million New Yorkers."
Well, last night Quinn got her wish. The five Democratic candidates were on a debate stage together where they could discuss the big issues of the day, the ones that matter to New Yorkers. During the debate, Quinn even said, high-mindedly, that what she cared about was Weiner's record, not his personal life. And yet, considering that Michael Bloomberg's policies are a central issue in the race, one legitimate issue is certainly Quinn's role in allowing Bloomberg to run for a third mayoral term. Weiner, not surprisingly, said Quinn had made a mistake in going along with Bloomberg's term-limits change. Quinn's response?
"Neither me, nor anybody else on this stage, or any New Yorker, quite frankly, should be lectured by Anthony Weiner about what we need to apologize for, tonight or ever."
Or ever! Perhaps we should just put Weiner in prison for the rest of his life, and throw away the key. Meanwhile, I am sure Quinn feels terrible about contributing to the "circus."
Isaac Chotiner is a senior editor at The New Republic. Follow him @IChotiner.