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Maybe this is exactly what the mayoral race needs. Or maybe we’ve all just gone crazy.
If you haven’t heard by now, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile of former city councilman and U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner yesterday, in which he mentioned that he’s seriously considering a run for City Hall. This would be his second time running for the position–he also ran against Bloomberg in 2005, but never made it out of the Democratic primaries. Probably because one of his ideas for neighborhood revitalization was cleverly titled “Weiner’s Cleaners.”
We’re talking about Anthony Weiner, the Clinton-friendly congressman from Brooklyn who served on the Hill for over a decade. Anthony Weiner, the politician who was caught sending genital shots to lady friends via Twitter direct message and who then resigned once details of the scandal erupted. Anthony Weiner, the man with the most unfortunate last name for such a situation.
Yeah, that guy.
“It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something,” he told the Times.
In this case, “something” can only be one of three things: mayor, public advocate or comptroller. And he slashed public advocate from his list in the interview.
It’s evident that Weiner has done some soul-searching since the scandal. He rarely makes public appearances (as he was known for), instead staying put somewhere in Manhattan. Also, he’s asking himself some serious questions:
“I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is, am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”
So what if he does run?
Well, it’s safe to say that his name is beyond recognition at this point. Anthony Weiner is an urban legend now. He has the experience; he has the friends; he has the money. According to recent polls, people have for the most part forgiven him and are willing to give him a “second chance.” And, come on, if Anthony Weiner ran for mayor, everyone and their mother would at least watch him try.
This poses a threat to the Democratic agenda right now. An outside figure like Weiner could disrupt the candidates’ electoral strategy, which–aside from Christine Quinn–is basically ‘How to Take Down Christine Quinn.’ Because Weiner could pull that off.
At a forum in the Bronx, the candidates were asked how they felt about the former councilman’s possible entry into the race. Thompson and de Blasio verbally shrugged at the idea. Albanese, on the other hand, was a bit suspicious of Weiner, given what happened two years ago. Later on, Quinn’s campaign released a statement saying the decision was “between him and his family.”
But what can they really say? It’s not up to them. If Weiner decides to run, that’ll be his own decision on his own time (based on how the public receives this article, which arrives in print on Sunday).
Whatever that choice may be, we’ll be awaiting his call.