11:22 am Jun. 13, 20121
Early Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke at a City & State-sponsored forum at N.Y.U. about what his administration was doing to help minority- and woman-owned companies in the city.
A few hours later, at what was billed as the first official 2013 mayoral forum, six politicians vying to replace him in 2013 spoke about what he wasn't doing.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, commonly thought to be Bloomberg's preferred candidate for mayor, at first tried to avoid the exercise altogether. But, asked to grade the administration's efforts, she said the results were "not satisfactory," a phrase she repeated several more times.
"They're not satisfactory because they don't even begin to come up to meeting the level of talent and skill that is out there," she said.
David Chen, the Times' City Hall bureau chief and the forum's moderator, intervened.
"Madame Speaker, if I may … 'unsatisfactory' is kind of a big field," he said.
"I went to Catholic School, so the grades were either E excellent, S satisfactory, U unsatisfactory," said Quinn, before finally arriving at a "C/C-."
The three candidates who preceded Quinn in answering the question had also given Bloomberg poor grades.
Tom Allon, who said that when he was a teacher he had a reputation as an "easy grader," gave the mayor a B- "for effort" and a C- "for results."
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio gave the mayor an "F," explaining, "We haven't seen results."
Comptroller John Liu likewise gave the administration an "F."
Chen had less success getting precise responses from the final two candidates on the dais: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former comptroller Bill Thompson.
"I would say in all fairness to the mayor that it's an incomplete," said Stringer.
"So Scott, 'incomplete' is fine and good but it doesn't really do a lot for me or my many reporters who are here," replied Chen.
"David Chen, this is not the lightning round of the NY1 debate," replied Stringer.
He then offered an explanation, of sorts: "At the end of the day, the totality of the effort was never fully realized, and that's really why I feel it's an incomplete."
Thompson said, "The efforts on the behalf of the Bloomberg administration and the mayor have been failing."
"So I take that as an 'F,' correct?" asked Chen.
"I took that as a failing grade," said Thompson.