At Mike’s Unicorn Diner on Wednesday, the television was tuned to the historic impeachment debate unfolding in the House of Representatives.
But few patrons bothered to look up from their soups, salads, and sandwiches. Many of them said they had long ago made up their minds about impeaching President Donald Trump.
“I think it’s a joke,” one man said. “What did he do that was so terrible?”
“This impeachment is a farce,” another remarked. “They wanted to impeach him the minute he was inaugurated.”
Trump won 57 percent of the vote on Staten Island in the 2016 general election, the only borough to tilt his way as New York City went big for Hillary Clinton.
Many of the patrons at Mike’s said they were tuning out allegations Trump pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival, Joe Biden, by withholding crucial foreign aid.
“So he’s got a big mouth, I’m not going to say he doesn’t. He should follow a little more professional protocol, the way he behaves and speaks to people,” one diner patron said. “But this has been a ride on him.”
“I think that the Democrats need to focus more on the American people than him,” one woman said.
One of those Democrats, some patrons said, was Staten Island’s very own congressman, freshman Max Rose, who flipped the seat in last year’s election.
Rose opposed Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, and promised a wait-and-see approach on impeachment before eventually announcing his yes vote.
“Max Rose better watch out,” one man said. “He better watch how he votes today.”
“He’s voting to impeach,” another said. “I think he’s going to have a tough time winning his election.”
At least one person told NY1 off-camera that he voted for Rose last time around but would seriously rethink doing that again.
Some others said they were still open to Rose.
“He is somewhat independent in terms of his thinking,” one woman said. “I don’t think he’s affected by the machine or what anybody feels. And I like somebody who is free to change his mind.”
But some diners said an impeachment vote could end up hurting not just Rose, but the Democrats’ next presidential nominee, by energizing Trump voters in places like Staten Island, which helped Trump win once before.
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Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Staten Island