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City Council Speaker Stays Mum About Possible Mayoral Run

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During an event last week, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn played it coy on her possible run for mayor, but when asked about actress Valerie Bertinelli or musician Bruce Springsteen, she let loose on how she really feels. NY1's Michael Scotto spent the day with the speaker and filed the following report.

Christine Quinn's day begins with a caffeine boost.

"I drink almost an obsessive amount," says Quinn.

A large cup of tea is needed for the City Council speaker on this particular morning because from the moment she leaves her Chelsea apartment building and hops into her city-issued car, she's on a mission, hitting all five boroughs on her "Day Out Against Hate," a series of events to combat a 20-percent increase in hate crimes around the city.

"The thing you can do is speak out against them," she says.

Speak out is what she does.

"The drum beat of tolerance will always be louder than the ignorant voices of hate in our city," she says during an event in Brooklyn, where she was joined by Reverend Al Sharpton.

"I don't think it should be glossed over when the speaker can bring all of us into a room," says Sharpton.

Her alliance with Sharpton fuels speculation about a possible run for mayor, and it's not just her relationship with Sharpton. On this November day, she brings together Democrats, Republicans, like Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, and the Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, all of whom heap on the praise.

"I want to tell you, she is one of the great leaders that I have known," says Klein.

But, like in the past, Quinn remains mum. Ask her a question on 2009, and beating around the bush is what you get.

"I really mostly have been thinking about lately what I need to do to get the most out of the next two years," she says.

Her personality isn't nearly as guarded on other matters of great importance, like her favorite television programs. Get her going on Lifetime movies featuring the former star of that classic sitcom, "One Day at a Time," and Quinn reveals a side most are probably unaware of.

"Anything with Valerie Bertinelli is usually a good show because there are struggles," she says. "They are strong women and it usually ends on an up note. A Nancy McKeon movie is a good one, too."

Maybe the movies are metaphors for her political life. Even the speaker can't avoid pesky setbacks. A fire drill at a Bronx school, where she's scheduled to speak, delays her schedule, which in turn lands her in the middle of rush hour traffic.

"If we hadn't had the fire drill, we would be ok," she says.

The bumper-to-bumper mess gives her time to not only catch on some work, but to listen to some Bruce Springsteen, who just happens to be her partner Kim's favorite artist.

"I was always a Springsteen fan, but not at this level," says Quinn. "Kim has expanded it significantly. If I had not been interested, it would have become a huge problem."

That relaxation to Springsteen lasts only as long as the car ride. It's soon on to another event, another speech.

Quinn says the five borough tours can be grueling, but it's likely her tour will last through 2009. For that, she'll need more caffeine.

- Michael Scotto
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