Can Anthony Weiner Make a Comeback And Be Mayor of New York?
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Anthony Weiner, the former New York Congressman and liberal attack dog, who resigned in the wake of a Twitter sexting scandal, is contemplating a political comeback. According to a profile in the New York Times Sunday Magazine coming out this week, Weiner has been floating some trial balloons about entering the race for New York City mayor this fall. "I want to ask people to give me a second chance," he told Jonathan van Meter, the author of the cover profile about Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin. The response, he says, indicates that although some people will never forgive his transgressions, enough have to make a run possible.
For those with short memories, Weiner was caught tweeting a shot of his aroused genitals to a 21-year-old Seattle college student—and, inadvertently, to his 45,000 Twitter followers. He compounded the problem by lying when questioned about it, and claiming his Twitter account had been hacked. (This, he now says, was more of an attempt to keep the truth from his wife, who as Hillary Clinton's Chief of staff, was traveling at the time, and pregnant with their first child.) More women came forward, and a tearful Weiner resigned from Congress in disgrace, promising to get therapy for his "addiction" and hoping for his wife's forgiveness.
It's been a quiet year and change for Weiner since then. His son is 13 months and taking his first steps, with the idled Weiner playing the role of primary caregiver. In therapy, he tells the Times, he has explored his fear of being alone, of empty spaces, and difficulty being still, which he cites as more the reason for his sexual acting out than any dissatisfaction with his marriage. He also blames Twitter. "The technology made me do it," he says in effect. Had it not existed, he says he would not have been one to cruise bars and pick up young women. Abedin talks of her "tremendous sense of betrayal," at the time, but says she has forgiven her husband. For what it's worth, Weiner's good friend Jon Stewart has also forgiven him, describing Weiner's behavior as "low-scale depravity."
Weiner still has a sizable warchest to work with, which would give him an edge in the race that is currently lead both in fundraising and polling by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. He claims he is not chomping at the bit for a political career, but will likely give it a shot, telling the Times, "It's now or maybe never for me."