A politician whose career appeared to go down in flames when he was caught in a scandal over lewd behavior is reportedly considering a run for mayor of New York.
The New York Times reports that former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who’s featured in a cover story in The New York Times Magazine, says he’s ready to “ask people to give me a second chance.”
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 amid a sexting scandal. “Mr. Weiner cautioned that he did not know when he would decide about entering the race, and conceded that ‘the fact that I don’t know tells me I shouldn’t run. Or I should not run now,’” The Times reports. “He also acknowledged that he would be ‘the underdog in any race I ran,’ citing a poll he commissioned earlier this year to gauge whether voters were prepared to forgive him and take him seriously as a candidate.”
The politician and his wife, Huma Abedin, say he is “a changed and humbled man: a stay-at-home father living in what the magazine writer describes as a ‘sprawling apartment’ on Park Avenue South, far from the Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods Mr. Weiner represented in the House of Representatives for more than a decade,” the report notes.
Said Weiner: “Some people just don’t buy it. Like they just don’t have room for a second narrative about me.”
The report adds: “Since leaving Congress, Mr. Weiner has generally refrained from commenting on either the scandal that prompted his resignation or his political future. But his visibility has increased in recent months, first with a photo shoot in People magazine that featured Mr. Weiner and Ms. Abedin with their infant son, Jordan, and then, over the weekend, with tabloid photos of the family, paparazzi-style.”
Weiner adds in the interview: “We have been in a defensive crouch for so long. We are ready to clear the decks on this thing.”
“In the interview, Mr. Weiner and Ms. Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, discuss the behavior that led to his resignation — he sent lewd photos of himself to women following his Twitter account, and then falsely claimed that his account had been hacked,” the piece reports. “He also engaged in sexual conversations on Facebook with women he had never met.”
Commenting on his behavior, Weiner said: “It was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired.”
The report notes: “If Mr. Weiner decides to enter the race for mayor, he will have a head start on fund-raising: He has $4.3 million in his coffers, left over from an abortive campaign for mayor in 2009, and this year he would be eligible for an additional $1.5 million in public matching funds. If he does not use the money this year, he will lose those matching funds.”