Why would an incumbent, who is reported to be ahead of the competition in every poll taken in recent weeks, revisit one of the lowest moments in his political career one week before an election?
Over the weekend, Star Ledger columnist Tom Moran published a story in which Healy, apparently, freely discussed with him the infamous 2004 “naked on the porch” incident. The legendary incident took place in the midst of Healy’s first run for mayor and was immortalized in a photo that was splashed on the cover of the local daily newspaper. In the photo, a naked Healy, who was a city councilman at the time, can be seen lying on the porch of his Ferry Street home. He appears to be, shall we say, “asleep” in the photo, which Healy believes was taken by a political rival and leaked to the news media.
At the time, Healy admitted that he had been drinking the night the photo was snapped, but said he did not remember how he ended up naked and passed out on the porch.
In the Moran interview, however, he told a different story.
According to the Star Ledger, Healy now says that “three Hispanic girls, young kids” were banging trash cans outside his home and awoke him. He said he went outside, wrapped in a towel, to investigate and the girls snatched the towel away from him.
“I start laughing, and then they started doing other stuff,” Healy is quoted as saying in the newspaper. “I said, ‘I’m old enough to be your grandfather.’”
The “stuff” the girls were doing, he said, was “filthy.”
Now, Moran may very well have asked Healy about this incident during their interview. But it’s moments like this for which the term “no comment” was invented. (Maybe Healy hasn’t heard of “no comment” the way he hasn’t heard of “let sleeping dogs lie.”)
Feeling slighted, Latino supporters of City Councilman Steven Fulop, Healy’s chief rival in the upcoming mayoral race, are planning a protest/press conference today at City Hall to demand that the mayor bare all regarding this incident.
Perhaps Fulop’s supporters shouldn’t expect too much political traction from Healy’s revised tale (or is it tail?), however. It is worth noting that Healy went on to win that 2004 mayoral race, despite his nap on the porch. – E. Assata Wright