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 Brooklyn who had 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.”
Actually, everyone 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 time.
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 about that?
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!