2013-05-24 / Top Stories

Weiner Wants To Be Mayor

Anthony Weiner officially announced his candidacy for Mayor by releasing a Youtube video. The video, shot in his old Brooklyn neighborhood, stresses his concern for a shrinking middle class in New York City.

Weiner, who represented Rockaway in Congress for some twelve years, resigned two years ago after it was revealed that he had been using his Twitter account to send inappropriate photos to various women. Weiner, married to Huma Abedin an assistant to Hillary Clinton in the State Department, initially denied the photos were his. Ten days later he admitted the photos were of him. And then nearly three weeks later, on June 16, 2011, he resigned from Congress. Weiner resigned amidst great pressure from congressional colleagues although his constituents in his home district remained solidly in support. A poll at the time revealed that 56 percent of his constituents wanted Weiner to stay in office.

Following his resignation, Weiner kept a relatively low profile, though surfaced briefly in media outlets soon after his son, Jordan, was born in late 2011.

In the summer of 2012, there were reports that Weiner had done some polling to gauge public sentiment towards a Weiner candidacy. Pundits started writing about a possible comeback, many citing the transgressions of other politicians including those of President Clinton, Mayor Giuliani, and Governor Elliot Spitzer.

And then, with little fanfare, Weiner resurfaced in Rockaway in the days after Sandy. With a baseball cap pulled on tightly he joined others in helping to distribute supplies. And he went back to the place of his downfall – Twitter – to send out a tweet pointing people to a video showing the devastation in Rockaway. A month later, he co-authored an op-ed in the Daily News with Congressman Greg Meeks about the continued suffering on the peninsula. When asked why he was helping, he said, “How could I not? I love Rockaway. And I have a lot of friends here.”

Now the question is, does he have enough friends to vote for him. He certainly has the money, with nearly $5 million in his campaign war chest he’ll be able to compete – at least with spending---with others in the race for City Hall. So far, he has no major endorsements or apparent political allies. Without such support, as the youtube video suggests, he’ll have to take an unconventional approach to campaigning. In the video, he appears with his young son and wife. He asks New Yorkers for a second chance.

Weiner clearly hopes reporters and voters want to move past the scandal questions and instead focus on issues that challenge New Yorkers. He has issued a book of ideas available on his website, anthonyweiner.com. The book and the website are outlined in the orange and blue colors of his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets.

Recent polls are mixed. Although a high number of New Yorkers do not want him in the race at all, another number says he only trails current frontrunner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn among voters.

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