Weiner Opponent, Quinn, Endorsed by Women's Group, Calls for 'Mature' Leader
Two days after the release of the newest lewd messages in New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's ongoing sex scandal, the president of the National Organization of Women, Terry O'Neill, threw the group's support behind his competitor, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
"New Yorkers need a mayor who has a proven ability to govern and lead responsibly," O'Neill said, with the Statue of Liberty as her backdrop.
NOW, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt group that promotes women's equality causes, has more than 550,000 members. The group's New York City chapter endorsed Quinn last month, but this marks the first time the national organization has engaged in the race.
"I'm incredibly thankful for NOW National's support," Quinn said in a news release. "New York City needs a mature and experienced leader to keep it moving in the right direction and [to] tackle the serious issues."
Endorsements could be key in the ever-shifting political sands of the mayoral race. The most recent numbers from NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll - conducted entirely post-scandal - revealed Weiner's lead evaporating, as Quinn moved out front with 25 percent to Weiner's 16 percent.
It is not just NOW that is talking about the need for a "mature" candidate in the race. Other prominent women's groups and female politicians were beginning to speak out about "maturity" in the race.
One of the most prominent advocacy groups for women politicians, EMILY's list, issued a statement from Marcy Stech, the national press secretary, saying that Quinn "is the only candidate with the judgment, maturity and know-how [to] produce real results for New Yorkers."
At a news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tore into Weiner, saying that his actions were "reprehensible" and "so disrespectful to women."
"What's really stunning about it is they don't even realize it. They don't have a clue," Pelosi said of both Weiner and the scandal-embroiled mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner. "If they're clueless, get a clue."