It is not uncommon for drama to surround politics in New York. But this year could prove to be a cliffhanger.
Playing a pivotal role in the scenario is disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner who appears gearing up to enter the already crowded race.
Weiner has been testing the waters recently and the pollsters indicate he couldbe a viable candidate in a Democratic contest. A Marist poll gave him a 15% chance, coming in second to frontrunner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Weiner gave a high profile interview to the New York Times in which he said “it was now or never for me to run for something.” And he renewed his account on Twitter, the social media site that contributed to his downfall after he texted crotch shots and other lewd pictures of himself to women he met on line.
There’s been much speculation over whether or not the 48 year old Weiner would enter the race. He gave further indication that he’s about to jump in when he did one on one interviews with reporters from each of the city’s television stations, including me, who has been interviewing him since his days on the city council.
He looked trim and confident when I met up with him in a midtown office building. He addressed the scandal head-on when I asked what in the world was he thinking when he tweeted those pictures. “I think the simplest answer, and not a pat one,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about the damage I was doing. I wasn’t thinking about how I turned the lives of those women upside down. I never met them. I wasn’t thinking of the hard I did to my wife. It was a blind spot and I’m working every day to repair it.”
Weiner said he believed he texted inappropriate messages to only six women, possible more, but did not thing any of them was underage. “I did these things over an extended period of time with more than one person. There are more embarrassing pictures out there than you can shake a stick at. I am very sorry for being dishonest. I shouldn’t have done those things.”
The former congressman, a staunch liberal who fought for New York, asked voters to give him a second chance. “Don’t judge me on this moment,” he said. “Ask me questiobns about it, but judge me on the fullness of my career.”
He praised his wife Huma, and said she has forgiven him and have been most supportive. He opened a new Twitter account so he can express his views about the problems the city faces and his solutions. He posted his keys to the city plabn that lists 64 ideas to keep New York the capitol of the middle class.
Weiner said he will make his decision in a matter of days, possibly weeks, but “soon.” He already has over $4 million in a campaign war chest. And if he files petition to run by June 10th, he’ll be eligible for $ 1 1/2 million in city campaign matching funds.