The New York Times has endorsed two candidates in New York's 2013 mayoral race: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the Democratic primary and former MTA head Joseph Lhota for the Republican primary.
It seems that picking a candidate to endorse from the Democratic field was no easy task for the paper's editorial board. Anonymous sources told Politico on Friday that the board's support was divided between Quinn and Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, "who is more ideologically aligned with the Times."
The board nods to this tension in their endorsement, but ultimately singles out Quinn as the more practical choice. "Ms. Quinn inspires the most confidence," they write, "that she would be the right mayor for the inevitable times when hope and idealism collide with the challenge of getting something done."
While De Blasio's ideas are compelling, the writers of the endorsement argue, he would lack the political support to carry them out:
Mr. de Blasio’s most ambitious plans — like a powerful new state-city partnership to make forever-failing city hospitals financially viable, or to pay for universal prekindergarten and after-school programs through a new tax on the richest New Yorkers — need support in the State Capitol, and look like legislative long shots. Once a Mayor de Blasio saw his boldest ideas smashed on the rocks of Albany, then what?
The New York Daily News also endorsed Quinn earlier this week.
While the editorial board acknowledges that it is ideologically at odds with its Republican pick, its endorsement deems Lhota "the best qualified of the three men seeking the Republican nomination for mayor."
Granted, The Times does not seem overly impressed with its other two choices for a Republican mayor. The editorial board had some disparaging words for candidate George McDonald. "When he called Anthony Weiner a 'self-pleasuring freak' and got to the brink of a shoving match, he inspired audiences to boo him, not Mr. Weiner, which was quite a feat."
The endorsement writers also take the opportunity to poke fun at Lhota's other opponent, John Catsimitidis, wealthy owner of a local grocery chain. "He also promises to make this city of eight million people a cleaner, well-run, thriving place, but we won’t take him seriously until he shows he can do that at Gristedes."