“It’s a Republican.” That was Dan Donovan’s frequent reply as he worked the crowd at the Mount Loretto Friendship Club, a senior center at the southwest corner of Staten Island on Tuesday. Sharing that, at age 58, he’s about have his first child produced excitement, some applause and a bit of befuddlement with many asking the age old question: Boy or girl?
The 25 minute visit was a solid positive for the Republican Donovan, with most of the seniors appearing to know him and many pledging to vote for him Tuesday. Although a few remained immersed in their card games, none voiced any opposition to him or his candidacy. In the election turnout game unfolding as Tuesday approaches, this was a solid inning.
Donovan, who can be somewhat muted or wooden in front of large audiences, warmly connected with the grandmother-laden crowd. A greeting of “Hi Mr. Donovan” brought a quick, “Danny, please.” He repeatedly shared the news of the impending birth of his first child, highlighting his age as he did so, producing a burst of excitement each time. He converted it into a more direct play for support, drawing laughs when he said to one group “I have to pay for college, you guys have to vote for me.” He began brief remarks to the entire room by noting that he’s learned to “never interfere with lunch, bingo or a card game.” Spotting one woman playing pool amid ten men, Donovan encouraged her to “take all of those men’s money.”
“Michael Grimm” is far from a dirty word here, with several people voicing support for Grimm. “I don’t believe it” said one woman on Michael Grimm’s criminal conduct. “C’mere boys” produced a group of men for a photo. When Donovan razzed one, laughing that “he wanted to know if his hair was combed”, the man smilingly responded “I got a little more than you.”
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