Politics Haunt Christine Quinn’s Wedding


As New York City Council Speaker prepares for both her May 19th wedding to longtime girlfriend Kim M. Catullo and a likely mayoral bid, the New York Times looks at how the former event could impact the latter.

Ms. Quinn and her team are taking a cautious approach in responding to news media interest in the wedding. While Ms. Quinn has talked during public appearances about how much fun she is having planning the event, she and her aides have closely guarded the details about the event, saying that it is a private moment. They did release a copy of the save-the-date notice, and said that although members of the news media would not be allowed in the wedding, they expected to release a photograph or two. Ms. Quinn agreed to speak generally about the wedding; Ms. Catullo, a products liability lawyer, declined to be interviewed.

Longtime observers of the New York political scene said the wedding could benefit Ms. Quinn, as it would give her an early chance to share her story with voters and to underline the historic nature of her candidacy — if elected she would be the first woman and the first openly gay person to lead the nation’s largest city. The wedding will also offer Ms. Quinn, sometimes portrayed as a brash and sharp-tongued leader, a chance to soften her image.

“She comes over, typically, as a rather tough politician,” said Kenneth Sherill, a professor of political science at Hunter College. He said the wedding could be a humanizing moment for Ms. Quinn.

“It puts a warm and loving face on a politician, at a time when we don’t think of politicians that way,” he said.

Quinn is well aware that cynics may erroneously read her nuptials as a political move, and insists she's carefully avoiding turning her special day into a stump speech. There’s really not a political implication to this for me as it relates to electoral politics,” she said. “We’re trying to make it really a day, a night that’s about friends and family and us.”