Talking about her temper was probably not the way City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wanted to spend her week, but as she continues to face questions about how she treats colleagues, the Democrat is putting a positive spin on her practice of getting angry. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
She was supposed to talk about immigration. Instead, Christine Quinn was asked about irritation. Her irritation.
"At times, do I push? Absolutely," Quinn said. "At times, do I push hard? Damn straight, 'cause I want to get things done. At times, do I raise my voice in that pushing? Yes."
For many, it goes far beyond that.
Two City Council members said that Quinn retaliated for crossing her.
Seniors were among those hurt when Quinn stripped funding for centers, they said. Peter Vallone Jr. of Queens said Quinn ordered it after he led opposition to renaming the Queensboro Bridge for Ed Koch.
Quinn wouldn't call what she did retaliation, but she also didn't deny that she uses her power over hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds to press her agenda.
"It's important to have, within the City Council and any legislative body, a clear sense of order and how things are going to move forward," Quinn said.
Her office also arranged other council members to tout her leadership, including Jimmy Van Bramer, another Queens lawmaker who opposed the bridge name change.
"She was good to me and to my district before I voted against the renaming of the bridge, and she has been good to me and my district after," Van Bramer said.
Voters are just now beginning to weigh whether Quinn would be good for the city, and some are questioning whether Quinn's temperament would be assessed differently if she were a man.
"Usually men, when they get angry or frustrated, that's viewed as a point of leadership," said Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras. "It's showing your skills, showing your negotiation skills. And now, we're questioning it as a woman. I think it's shameful."
That blowback could help Quinn. She's putting a positive spin on what some may consider a liability.
"Of course, there's an aspect of this that's defensive," said David Birdsell of Baruch College. "But there's also an aspect to this that speaks to the personal characteristics that some people want to see in a mayor."
Of course, tempers haven't stopped plenty of others with getting the jobs they want, including mayor of New York. Some may say it even helped.