Anthony Weiner launches mayoral run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

File photo
File photo

Anthony Weiner has officially kicked off his political comeback.

Almost two years after resigning from Congress because of a Twitter sext scandal, the former Queens politician is running for mayor.

Weiner made the announcement late Tuesday in a video posted to YouTube.

“Look I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons. I’m running for mayor because I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you,” he said in the video.

His candidacy ends months of speculation on his return to politics.

Leaving office with a sizable campaign war chest, and a former bid for mayor in 2005, it wasn’t soon before rumors surfaced that he was contemplating another try for Gracie Mansion.

It was also thought that Weiner might run for public advocate.

Speculation grew as he allocated some of those funds and started speaking with the media.

In March, campaign filings showed that he spent more than $100,000 on polling and research.

The April publication of a New York Times article was Weiner’s first in-depth interview since his resignation.

“It’s his comeback,” Michael Krasner, an associate political science professor at Queens College told The Courier following the publication of the piece.

Krasner said Weiner was taking a page from former President Bill Clinton’s political playbook, comparing the Times article to the interview Bill and Hillary gave following the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal during the 1992 presidential election campaign.

Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, was featured in the article with her husband.

The piece was followed by other media interviews, and a new Twitter account with the handle @anthonyweiner and tagline “Fighting to keep New York City the Capital of the Middle Class.”

When he launched the account, he tweeted a link to a pamphlet outlining his “”Keys to the City” with “64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class.”

Those “64 Ideas” are referenced in his campaign video, which opens with Weiner speaking about growing up middle class in Brooklyn, as well as his campaign website.

“To maintain New York’s place as the capital of the middle class we must meet today’s challenges with fresh ideas. In Keys to the City, I present 64 ideas of my own to start the dialog. But in a dynamic city like New York, the challenges and solutions are constantly evolving. I invite you to review my ideas, share your thoughts and send me ideas of your own,” he says on his site.

Weiner probably has as much name recognition or more at this point as opponent City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, even if some of it’s negative, said Krasner.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released today, Weiner comes in second in a Democratic primary behind Quinn.

The poll found 25 percent of New York City voters would elect Quinn. Weiner received 15 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 10 percent each. Comptroller John Liu came in at 6 percent, and former Councilmember Sal Albanese at 2 percent, with 27 percent of voters undecided.

Weiner’s percentage is unchanged since an April 19 Quinnipiac poll, but Quinn’s support is down from the 28 percent she received in the April survey.

 

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