Anthony Weiner Longs for a Second Chance in Politics, Friends Say
By KATE TAYLOR
Published: July 15, 2012
Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency
When it comes to former Representative Anthony D. Weiner’s political future, there are a few indisputable facts.
He has roughly $4.5 million in the bank for a political candidacy and a deadline to use it next year or miss out on getting up to $1.5 million in public matching funds.
He wants to return to politics, according to friends and former staff members.
And, as much as he might desire to run for office, he faces a major challenge in overcoming the scandal over his lewd online behavior that spurred him to resign his House seat last year.
Beyond that, there are mostly questions, the biggest of them being when Mr. Weiner may attempt a comeback. On Sunday, he declined to comment when asked directly about his immediate political ambitions.
An article in The New York Post, taking note of expenditures reported in a recent campaign filing and his deadline for receiving matching funds, suggested that Mr. Weiner was considering running for public advocate or even mayor next year.
His refusal to address his political future only stirred further speculation.
Some suggested that, a little more than a year after the scandal that ended his Congressional career, it was too early to pursue a second life in politics.
“It’s much, much too soon,” said Bruce F. Berg, a political science professor at Fordham University.
“In a crowded Democratic primary, especially for a citywide office, he doesn’t have a chance,” he added.
If nothing else, the buzz showed that Mr. Weiner was still capable of generating chatter in a mayoral field that seems to be solidifying despite its lack of star power.
With his war chest, Mr. Weiner would have an edge over several of the likely Democratic candidates. William C. Thompson Jr., for instance, a former comptroller and a declared mayoral candidate, has raised only $1.5 million for the race so far, according to a statement by his campaign on Sunday.
Still, Mr. Weiner faces substantial obstacles, including that several of his former aides have now signed onto other mayoral campaigns. His former pollster, Joel Benenson, is now working for the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, while two former political consultants, Jim Margolis and Anson Kaye, are working for the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer.
Until recently, Mr. Weiner had mostly stayed out of sight since resigning from Congress. His wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave birth to a son in December. But he has emerged slightly in recent weeks, commenting for an article about the television show “Fox & Friends” and doing a radio interview on the Supreme Court’s health care ruling.
A filing made Friday to the New York City Campaign Finance Board shows that he is still paying rent on a campaign office in Manhattan and that he, or someone working for him, held a meeting on July 7 at Mendy’s, a kosher deli in East Midtown.
The meal cost $40.27. Any inkling of the table talk: priceless.