Both at the time of his scandal and now during his political comeback attempt, the New York Post has simply reveled in making pun after pun with Anthony Weiner’s last name. But don’t expect any apologies.
Asked what he’d say to critics who have accused his publication of being immature, Post editor in chief Col Allan bluntly told the Australian news program Lateline, “I don’t know. They got to develop a sense of humor, I guess.”
The battle between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the powerful teachers’ union entered a ghoulish new phase on Monday, as the mayor equated the union’s coveted endorsement to the “kiss of death,” and the union slammed a nod from Mr. Bloomberg as worse than a zombie attack.
The Democratic candidates for mayor have been courting the United Federation of Teachers and the union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, for months, but Mr. Bloomberg said this afternoon he thinks they’re making a grave electoral mistake.
“It’s almost a kiss of death,” the mayor said of the union’s coveted endorsement, which Mr. Mulgrew believes will be decisive in the race. “I don’t know what goes through voters’ minds, but maybe they understand if the UFT wants it, it ain’t good and you don’t want that person.”
Thus far in the mayoral race, almost all of Bill de Blasio’s endorsements have come from the battleground borough of the Bronx, but today he is branching out to Queens, where State Senator James Sanders is joining the public advocate’s team.
In a statement, Mr. Sanders, whose district includes the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Rockaways, touted Mr. de Blasio’s support in the aftermath of the storm.
Yesterday, Politico and other outlets reported that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was investigating whether Huma Abedin’s role in the U.S. State Department conflicted with her private consulting work. Ms. Abedin, of course, is the wife of Anthony Weiner, a Democrat mounting a high-profile campaign for mayor this year. Politicker caught up with Mr. Weiner earlier today to get his take on the situation.
The former congressman, speaking broadly, touted his wfe’s accomplishments in pubic life while insisting everything she did was “above board.”
“I’m the underdog…” Anthony Weiner wrote in an email to supporters this afternoon. “…but that’s fine by me.”
In what at first seems like a humble fund-raising pitch, Mr. Weiner quickly pivots to tout the impact his mayoral campaign has already had on the city’s political scene. Mr. Weiner, a celebrity candidate of sorts thanks to his high-profile sexting two years ago, specifically lauds its “undeniable buzz.”
Getting the Gang Back Together
Most of Anthony Weiner’s former staffers are working for his rivals in this year’s mayoral race–or are settled in jobs outside of campaign politics–but at least one appears to have just returned to the fold.
Amit Bagga, who worked as Mr. Weiner’s executive director at the height of his infamous Twitter scandal two years ago, is going back to work for the former congressman once again. Indeed, Mr. Bagga has already disclosed this information on his LinkedIn profile, where his new title is listed as “Senior Advisor, Policy and Communications at Weiner for Mayor.”
It began outside a subway station in Harlem, where Anthony Weiner greeted–and embraced—New Yorkers on their way to work.
Next, he eschewed the Memorial Day parade in his old district for a sparsely-attended black church service in Southeast Queens and a veterans ceremony in the Bronx’s Co-op City. And this weekend, he slammed stop-and-frisk at Rev. Al Sharpton’s weekly National Action Network rally, earning loud applause from the mostly-black crowd.
In an interview on CBS radio this afternoon, Anthony Weiner said he simply had a “New York-style” exchange with a Democratic district leader who blasted him this week for running for mayor after resigning over a sexting scandal.
your pal sal
Anthony Weiner’s Democratic rivals in the mayor’s race have generally done their best to avoid talking about the sexting scandal that led to his downfall two years ago. Former Councilman Sal Albanese, however, has been the exception, and he directly confronted Mr. Weiner at a Queens breakfast forum earlier today.
“Before I get into that,” Mr. Albanese said in response to an unrelated question about funding local cultural institutions, “I just want to say that listening to Mr. Weiner is interesting because he’s very glib and articulate. But … he’s betrayed the public trust on several occasions and I think that disqualifies him.”
As Anthony Weiner winds his way through the slog of never-ending candidate forums and debates that have defined much of the mayor’s race, he’s managed to stand out by standing up as he answers every question, even as the rest of the field remains seated.