Thursday, December 12, 2013
Jennifer Peltz / The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Democrat Anthony Weiner is jumping into a crowded field for September's mayoral primary. He's arriving with some significant advantages, including a $4.8 million campaign war chest, polls showing him ahead of all but one other Democrat, and no end of name recognition.
"Anybody who underestimates Anthony Weiner's ambition is a fool. And anybody who underestimates his ability as a candidate is a fool," retired Hunter College political science professor Kenneth Sherrill said. But "we're going to see, basically, if Weiner can take hits as well as he can dish them out."
In recent interviews, he has said he shouldn't have lied but did it because he wanted to keep the truth from his then-pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She told The New York Times Magazine that she has forgiven him.
In seeking a second chance from the public, Weiner will have to overcome some voters' misgivings. In a recent NBC New York-Marist Poll, half said they wouldn't even consider him, though the survey also showed that more registered Democrats now have a favorable than unfavorable impression of him.
Weiner can expect opponents to hammer at his prior prevaricating, and he said in a recent interview on the RNN cable network that he couldn't guarantee that no more pictures or people would emerge.
And while he might welcome attention to his policies rather than his past, they also have attracted some criticism. About a dozen young people recently demonstrated outside his Manhattan apartment building to denounce his proposal to make it easier to suspend disruptive public school students; "(hash)Weiner: You ask for a second chance in (hash)NYC2013 but deny students a second chance," read one sign, using Twitter's beloved hashtag marks.
Since leaving office, Weiner has put his government experience to work as a consultant for various companies.
His Democratic opponents include City Councilman Sal Albanese; Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Comptroller John Liu; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; the Rev. Erick Salgado, a pastor; and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Republican contenders include billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota and homelessness-aid organization head George McDonald. Former White House housing official Aldolfo Carrion Jr., a Democrat who recently dropped his party affiliation, is running on the Independence Party line and also interested in the Republican nomination.