Would Weiner even be a good mayor?
Long before Anthony Weiner was an unfortunately named joke, he was a national TV presence, high-profile member of Congress and a leading candidate for mayor of New York City. For national progressive activists frustrated with their incrementalist in the White House, and fearing an ascendant and unhinged right, Weiner’s bombastic liberalism was a salve and a rallying point -- and he relished the role of movement leader.
But now that the former congressman is hinting at a comeback, with an emotional tell-all interview in the New York Times Magazine and open talk that he's eyeing a run for mayor of New York City, can he recapture that glory on the left? And critically, was he even a good congressman to begin with? Good enough to run the nation's largest city?
Even among his Democratic compatriots, Weiner was always a bit of a divisive figure: a great communicator and powerful leader, but one who didn’t play well with others. “He operated as a lone ranger, giving a voice to the progressive movement, but not operating as a partner with a larger set of House members or progressives on the outside,” one senior strategist for an outside progressive group said, contrasting him with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who works closely with partners to advance her agenda.