2013-04-12 / Front Page

Stop The Presses: Weiner’s Back

By Kevin Boyle

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner – yeah, remember him? — hinted that he wants to run for mayor in a New York Times article set to run in the Sunday magazine. The online version became live at 5 a.m. Wednesday. The news triggered the expected jokes and commentary by armchair psychologists who weighed in on his career-interrupting tweets and his seeming need for a public life. Although Weiner did not make an official announcement, pundits were quick to weigh in and most set his chances of winning the job of mayor as slim. The same pundits, however, acknowledged that he would be a force in what many are calling a thin field. He has a $4 million dollar war chest for the campaign and starts with better name recognition than other candidates.

Weiner, 48, represented Rockaway as a seven time winner in Congressional races. He had been a City Councilman when he made his move for Congress in 1997. His first race was his toughest as he faced three other Democrats, Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Dan Feldman, and Noach Dear, in a primary. With the race razor thin, The Wave endorsed Weiner right before the primary which may have made the difference in the tight race. Since then, Weiner has often credited The Wave for his political leap from City Council to Washington.

Weiner remained popular in his district, never receiving less than 59 percent of the vote. He had less success in Breezy Point and Belle Harbor but never ignored the areas and took knocks in stride and good humor. His critics maintain that for all his flair there wasn’t much to show for his tenure. Jetties, a Riis Park pool, and a ferry service to Manhattan were Rockaway needs when he arrived and were Rockaway needs when he left.

Although a vocal member of Congress with some national identity built around issues like social security and medicare and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, he had his eye on City Hall as early as 2005. Even though he was making appearances on national talks shows, he was not particularly well known in the City when he decided to take on Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Although given high marks for an inspired run, he conceded to Freddy Ferrer in the primary. In an interview with the New York Sun that year Weiner said, “It’s a matter of getting the people to discover me. It’s going to happen,” he said.

Maybe not the way he wanted. But it happened. And now he’s wondering if people will give him a second chance. Although hardly conclusive, the 10-1 favorable reaction on The Wave Facebook page suggests they want this guy in City Hall.

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