Is Anthony Weiner poised for a political comeback?
According to a new interview, the former Queens congressmember gave the New York Times, he is considering a run for mayor.
“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” he told the publication. “It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something.”
The article, which was published online on Wednesday and is appearing in print on Sunday, is the first time he has given an in-depth interview since the sexting scandal that forced him to resign from his seat in June 2011.
Before that time, Weiner was considered a rising political star and one of the front-runners for the next mayor of New York City.
But he could still achieve that goal, according to Michael Krasner, an associate political science professor at Queens College and co-director of the Taft Institute for Government.
It’s his comeback,” said Krasner, who believes that Weiner is taking a page from former President Bill Clinton’s political playbook.
The interview Weiner gave The Times is similar to the one Bill and Hillary Clinton gave following the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal during the 1992 presidential election campaign, Krasner explained.
Clinton persuaded voters that it was private matter and that he shouldn’t be judged politically for it, Krasner said. “It’s the same ploy, it’s the same device.”
The Times also interviewed Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, and photographed the couple with their 13-month-old son.
Showing him as a doting father and with a forgiving spouse could also translate to a forgiving public, said Krasner.
If polls show more support for Weiner following the article, then he will likely go ahead with a Democratic mayoral run, he said.
“Even if he doesn’t win this time, he gets beyond the scandal, said Krasner. “Then he can run another time.”