My earlier story on what Anthony Weiner’s entry means for the two Bills: He dropped the 140 character message on Twitter, a tool that forced him to resign two years ago, for a much faster and well prepared 140 second video message. Anthony Weiner finally put all rumors to rest and jumped right into the mayoral race, just in time for petition season.
In his short video message, Mr. Weiner asked for forgiveness and a second chance. Yet the immediate conversation on social media was: is it the same old Anthony Weiner, known for his feisty speeches in Congress, or a new, polished but boring politician proving he’s been revised?
“Of all the candidates, Anthony Weiner has been on the front lines fighting Republicans the longest. That will appeal to Dem primary voters,” wrote @RussonPolitics.
“His chutzpah and grasp of middle class issues is sure to shake up the Dem Primary,” Councilman Eric Ulrich added.
On the other hand, some saw his strategy of being viewed as the boring buy as being a little too inauthentic. “I got bored halfway through Anthony Weiner’s debut campaign video,” Rosie Gray, a Buzzfeed reporter, wrote.
Nonetheless, whether it will take a week or two, the idea of a well known candidate jumping into the race when the field is crowded as it is, is bad news for Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson alike.
For Bill Thompson, who has yearned to end up in the runoff, a possible 3 way fight for the 2nd place might snatch away that prize from him. On the other hand, Bill de Blasio has the most to lose from a Weiner candidacy. Initially, Mr. de Blasio was relying on establishing himself as the only progressive alternative to Ms. Christine Quinn. By Mr. Weiner joining the race, not only must Mr. de Blasio fight his way into the runoff, he now has to split the anti-Quinn vote with another candidate.
Only time will tell if voters are willing to grant Mr. Weiner a second chance and whether Mr. de Blasio can build on the unions’ support as an expansion of his base, or he’ll be forced to hold on tight to any given support it to at least remain viable.
Meanwhile, a reminder of what Rep. Anthony Weiner used to look and sound like before the scandal clipped his political wings:
Yori Yanover contributed to this report.