How Audrey Gelman Changed The Face Of NYC Politics

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aydretEMBEdPhotographed by Kava Gorna.
Of course, the NYC mayoral race is a prominent headliner, but we weren't expecting the comptroller election to generate equal interest this year. Though with Eliot Spitzer running, there was bound to be some publicity (and a few winning Post headlines), but it was Scott Stringer who ultimately took center stage (and the Democratic primary). Today the spotlight moved behind the scenes, shining a light on one of Stringer's bright campaign staffers — Audrey Gelman — in a buzzy New York Times profile.

If Gelman's name sounds familiar, it might have nothing to do with politics. She's a friend of Lena Dunham, a regular feature on the downtown scene, and an accomplished and well-dressed young lady whom you might just recognize from our own 30 Under 30 feature. She's also credited with turning Stringer's campaign around, making a somebody out of a nobody, and throwing parties that, to quote the Times, "looked more like a Fashion Week after-party than a political fund-raiser."

What with all the fuss about Obama's smooth campaign style that left opponents in the dust (read this for reference), it's no surprise that politicians are turning to more unconventional measures to get the word out and get noticed. In NYC, it's a wonder this isn't standard practice. But it is, however, par for the course when it comes to a savvy spin goddess (and we're not talking SoulCycle) like Gelman. The article's author, Alex Williams, puts it in true Times fashion: "Like any good millennial, Ms. Gelman relied heavily on social media, filling her personal Instagram feed, which has 10,000 followers, with humanizing photos of Mr. Stringer and his wife, Elyse, to underscore his image as a solid family man, and implicitly, the un-Spitzer"

Well, as the story goes, it worked. But now, if you believe the Times (and you probably should), Gelman is the one to watch above all. There's plenty of designer (and Terry Richardson) name-dropping, but there's also evidence and testimony of just how good she is at her job. To the naysayers — and there will be naysayers — who claim she's just a fashion girl using connections to wrangle her way up the ladder, we might offer one retort: That's just good politics. (The New York Times)