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The last unasked question: ‘If Anthony Weiner were a tree, what kind of tree?’


The onetime front-runner in New York City’s mayoral race, Christine Quinn, was determined to talk about her record Thursday morning, not her media-dogged competitor Anthony Weiner.

But Joe Scarborough had a question for her: “If Anthony Weiner were a tree, what kind of tree would he be?”

Quinn, who is now polling in second place in the city’s Democratic primary, didn’t take the bait. (Perhaps only Katharine Hepburn can answer that question with ease.)

Instead, she positioned herself as a moderate candidate of compromise in the final weeks of city’s contentious Democratic primary.

Quinn, the city’s Council Speaker, was long expected to be a serious contender for mayor once Mayor Michael Bloomberg vacated the office, and she led the race until former Congressman Anthony Weiner jumped into the competition. But Weiner, who left Congress amid a sexting scandal, tanked in the polls after new lewd online exchanges became public. Quinn earned back some of his voters, but so did the more liberal Bill de Blasio, who pulled into the lead among Democratic contenders. 

Scarborough tried again. “I was going to ask, what kind of animal would Anthony Weiner be?”

Quinn laughed and turned back to the race. She held up her record as an example of compromise, cooperation, and getting things done, when asked whether her candidacy would effectively be Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effective fourth term given her close ties to him.

“When I can agree and work with the mayor or anybody quite frankly, I’m gonna do it. And when I can’t, I’m not going to,” she said. “But I think the idea where having a government where you agree all the time or never, we have a place like that. It’s called Washington, and nothing happens.”

For more on New York City’s contentious fall ballot, check out our previous interviews below.

Bill de Blasio: Stop-and-frisk ruling will define mayoral race

Mayoral candidate Quinn calls stop-and-frisk ‘out of control’

5 years of pain changed me, says tearful Spitzer

Tearful Spitzer interview ‘painful to watch,’ says opponent

The last unasked question: 'If Anthony Weiner were a tree, what kind of tree?'