Obama – great, or good, job. de Blasio – meh. That’s the essence of Council Member and congressional candidate Vincent Gentile’s response when asked about the two Democratic elected officials. Gentile spoke during a press Q&A following his nomination to run as the Democratic candidate in the 11th Congressional District special election scheduled for May 5th.
When I asked Gentile to rate President Obama’s overall performance he responded with an answer solely focused on the economy. Gentile termed Obama’s performance “great”, although he also amended his answer to “good”, saying that “I’m prepared to say that he’s done a great, a good job with the economy.” Although viewed by many as a political liability, President Obama carries substantial support in some areas. He won Staten Island in his 2012 reelection bid, 78,000 to 74,000, after having lost it in 2008 by 7,000 votes. It’s also worth noting, however, that Bob Turner won a neighboring district congressional special election in 2011 (to replace Anthony Weiner) by galvanizing discontent with Obama’s approach to Israel. It’s unclear at this early stage whether Obama will be a meaningful part of the campaign, but Gentile’s initial positioning is supportive of his fellow Democrat.
Here’s Gentile on Obama:
Gentile was polite but less supportive when he was asked (by Will Bredderman of the Observer) to rate Mayor Bill de Blasio’s job performance. Gentile characterized he and de Blasio, once a member of the City Council’s Brooklyn delegation alongside Gentile, as “friends” but said that he has “agreed and disagreed” with the mayor on various issues.
Here’s Gentile on de Blasio:
Additional Note – Cuomo:
Governor Andrew Cuomo resoundingly won this congressional district in 2014, 60,000 to 44,000, over Republican Rob Astorino. Cuomo has strongly suggested that he will not endorse or support any candidate in this race. With Cuomo’s strong performance this past November that’s a loss for for fellow Democrat Gentile.
Update: Here’s Gentile’s full press Q&A.