Anthony Weiner had the press meet him at his parent’s brownstone in Park Slope this morning to say he’s not running for mayor — all over again!
It was a repeat
performance for the congressman from
the same moment of truth in front of the cameras in the exact same spot (“This is where I played stickball in the street!”) when he pulled out of the Democratic primary in 2005
rather than face Freddy Ferrer in
a run-off race.
“As you know,” he began, “I have decided not to pursue the mayoral race. This has been a very difficult decision to make.”
present had already read Weiner’s op-ed in the Times
this morning saying the exact same thing. And since he as much as said way back in March
that he wasn’t sure what the heck to do, there wasn’t much of a surprise element this
Instead, the toughest question Weiner faced was about his intentions
regarding his lovely girlfriend, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who stood
smiling next to his family.
“I think it’s time
for a cozy photo moment,” Weiner said, hoisting his baby niece into his arms.
But forget about
his love life. The real jilted parties here are Democratic Party voters. For
them, the beanpole legislator is just one big tease! What’s Huma got to say
Weiner promised he
is going to work “whole heartedly” now to help elect presumptive Democratic nominee
Bill Thompson as mayor and even told the comptroller that only this morning. But he has much as admitted that Mayor Bloomberg and
his Bloombucks are likely to rule the day.
“Any race can be
won,” he said. “But there’s no mistaking this is going to be a tough race.”
Money is the
determining factor, he said. “I’ll make no bones about it. This is not a level playing
field. In certain ways, it’s not even a fair fight.”
But his own reason
for passing the buck this time, he insisted repeatedly, is that his job in
Congress eats up too much time. “I’ll be honest with you [Amber political alert: Weiner used this phrase repeatedly], I didn’t see how I could
do my job and run for mayor at the same time.”
Asked if he just might be thinking about a 2013 campaign, assuming the Bloomberg doesn’t change the rules again, Weiner denied it. But he made sure to leave the door open a crack. “I’m not ruling it out.”
Memo to Weiner’s folks: Don’t sell that brownstone!