Anthony Weiner ended his slow-and-steady approach to media appearances today, granting at least four on-camera interviews with ABC7, NBC 4, CBS and RNN-TV. Despite flooding the airwaves, the former congressman insisted he has yet to decide whether he’ll ultimately make a high-profile mayoral bid this year. However, Read More
The Fourth Estate
As he explores a potential mayoral campaign, Anthony Weiner has become his own one-man press shop, often trading barbs with reporters on the news of the day. And, for a man who was forced to resign from Congress because of inappropriate electronic communications, Mr. Weiner doesn’t appear to expend much effort filtering his speech.
For example, a Politicker reporter shares a name with a famous ice hockey player, and Mr. Weiner, an avid hockey fan himself, focused on that fact during one of many interview requests.
“I totally just noticed your name! you play defense by any chance?” he jokingly asked, displaying both his trademark snark and his disinclination to discus the inquiry’s substance.
Later this morning, Reshma Saujani will officially launch her public advocate campaign, an ambitious bid for one of two competitive citywide races this year. But as she lays out her agenda, it won’t be the same Reshma Saujani politicos remember from her 2010 primary against Upper East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. In that campaign, she embraced her “Pro-Wall Street Democrat” label, but now, Ms. Saujani says she’s focused on a whole new slate of issues.
“Oh my God, so much!” she told Politicker when asked if she’s learned from her experiences since then, including a stint in the public advocate’s office. “Since 2010, I have a record–a progressive record–of accomplishment. There are people in the city who I have helped put on a path of economic prosperity, that are in college because I fought for them. There are people in jobs because I fought for them … In 2010, that was harder to demonstrate, right? Because I was working as a lawyer in the private sector.”
Standing next to a pair of supporters on the steps of City Hall, Ceceilia Berkowitz, a self-described “Social Media Journalist,” announced her bid for Mayor of New York City today.
“Our campaign team color is royal blue–the color blue. And it sounds similar, especially to new immigrants like my boyfriend,” Ms. Berkowitz proclaimed, slowly reading off pieces of paper. “And the other type of blue-collar middle class. The other types of middle class like accountants, retail professionals. Also the rich people who earn their own living, who can’t afford to be taxed too much. And the poor people who need government assistance.”
The Weiner Revival
In his first television appearance since a social media-induced scandal torpedoed his political career two years ago, a contrite Anthony Weiner began to describe what life may be like under a theoretical Weiner Administration.
In particular, during the taped NY1 interview with Errol Louis, Mr. Weiner staked out several policy positions and offered criticism of the Democratic campaign primary thus far, edging closer to a mayoral bid that, based on the tone of the interview, appeared more likely.
“I got to do it soon. I mean, I’m starting the process and people are inviting me to come things and to talk to them about issues and I’m going to look for opportunities to talk about things as I move forward,” Mr. Weiner said, responding to a question about when he would officially launch a mayoral campaign. “I’ll tell you one thing for sure, I want to be a part of the ideas primary, that’s for sure. That primary I want to do very well in.”
Anthony Weiner’s possible entry into the mayoral race is being thoroughly mocked by the New York Post and late-night comedians, but for the candidates already in the field, it’s not necessarily a light-hearted affair. Mr. Weiner, once the leading mayoral contender, tumbled out of the spotlight in 2011 thanks to a digital sex scandal and the ensuing cover-up. But as the former congressman still has a full campaign war chest and strong name recognition–and the fact that electoral politics is a zero-sum game–the question rises: which of his hypothetical rivals would be most impacted by his decision?
Speaking to various operatives involved in the race–usually off-the-record or on-background–three central arguments emerged: Mr. Weiner would hurt Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Chris Quinn or, possibly, no candidate at all.
New York City’s political world is abuzz with today’s news that former Congressman Anthony Weiner is indeed exploring a long-rumored campaign for mayor, revealed in a lengthy New York Times Magazine profile. In addition to various politicos speculating endlessly on the subject, Mr. Weiner’s possible rivals have started to give their own thoughts.
Comptroller John Liu, for example, told reporters that he was fine with Mr. Weiner running, but jokingly urged the potential candidate to stay away from Twitter–lest he run into a scandal similar to the one that infamously ended his congressional career in 2011.
“If Anthony wants to be mayor, I guess I would suggest getting rid of his phone and closing down his tweeting account,” Mr. Liu said after an unrelated policy speech in Manhattan. “This is a democracy. Anthony has got a lot of resources, he’s a hustler. Just stop tweeting.”
Enter the Weiner
Early this morning, The New York Times Magazine published an extensive, 8,400-word profile of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, his wife Huma Abedin and their life since an infamous social media-induced scandal destroyed his political career. The piece directly addressed the topic most political observers are interested in: “Weiner quickly put all the speculation to rest: he is eyeing the mayor’s race.”
“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” Mr. Weiner 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.”
For local races, New York City overwhelmingly tilts towards the Democratic Party and there are only a handful of Council campaigns with the potential to be competitive in this November. The race for outgoing GOP Councilman Jimmy Oddo’s seat is likely to be one of them. And, according to a source active in local politics, the Democratic establishment is backing Mendy Mirocznik, a non-practing rabbi and lawyer, for the Staten Island district.
“We’re seeing fewer education dollars, less transportation options, deteriorating roads and there seems to be no relief in sight,” Mr. Mirocznik said in a statement announcing his candidacy yesterday. “Meanwhile, our small-businesses, the economic engine, of our community are struggling to survive – that is not a recipe for recovery. We need an advocate who will reverse this trend and bring real results for Mid-Islanders, and I believe I can do that.”
Comptroller John Liu is the only one of the major Democratic mayoral contender whose campaign hasn’t officially released his fundraising numbers from the latest filing period to the press. However, Mr. Liu’s numbers are actually worth boasting about. Though the raw amount he’s raised doesn’t compare to his rivals, when you factor in publicly-matched contributions, Mr. Liu appears to be sitting on the second-highest pile of campaign cash behind only Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has already raised the maximum amount allowed for the primary
“We’re just about there in maxing out at the spending limit,” a spokesperson for Mr. Liu said after Politicker reached out. “In fact, we’ve emphasized small amounts and from a broad base of NYC donors, the vast majority of whom are first-time donors to any campaign.”