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***Breaking*** Weiner Announces Candidacy for Mayor in Video

Anthony D. Weiner, once a rising star of New York politics whose career cratered over revelations of his sexually explicit life online, announced an improbable bid on Wednesday for the job he has long coveted: mayor.

After a rocky re-emergence into public life over the past few weeks, marked by circuslike scenes of tabloid photographers chasing him onto the subway, Mr. Weiner opted to declare his candidacy from the safe remove of a video.

The two-minute video, which was posted online without any accompanying announcement from Mr. Weiner’s campaign, is a slickly produced argument for the candidacy of Mr. Weiner, a former congressman. In the video, he briefly, and obliquely, acknowledges wrongdoing, but focuses his time on asserting that he has the experience and determination to help New York deal with issues of unaffordability, education and public safety.

“Look, I made some big mistakes, and I know I let a lot of people down,” he says. “But I’ve also learned some tough lessons.”

His candidacy, fueled by a $5 million war chest and a determination to resurrect his public standing, promises to immediately disrupt a wide-open Democratic primary race populated by several lesser-known candidates.

But it comes with heavy baggage, starting with the deep ambivalence of voters to whom Mr. Weiner lied two years ago, when he indignantly, and falsely, denied that he had sent an Internet image of himself in his underwear to a college student in Seattle.

Mr. Weiner, 48, eventually admitted to a secret practice of befriending young female admirers over the Internet and engaging in intimate sexual banter with them, sometimes sending them lewd self-portraits taken with his BlackBerry.

The campaign video was apparently posted prematurely. Although Mr. Weiner was expected to declare his candidacy on Wednesday, the video went up in the middle of the night, and then for a time disappeared from the candidate’s YouTube page and his campaign Web site.

By sunrise, the campaign Web site had been updated, with the video displayed prominently and an orange-and-blue header reading “Weiner for Mayor.” However, on some mobile devices, users continued to see outdated content associated with Mr. Weiner’s Congressional campaign, and even the newer version of the site still included a link to a Facebook page that had not been updated in two years.

In the new campaign video, Mr. Weiner describes himself as a champion of the city’s middle class, and decries rising rents, inadequate schools, overregulated neighborhood businesses, and a paucity of “good jobs with benefits.”

“The very people that put everything they had into this city are getting priced right out of it,” he says. “But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Although his tenure in Congress has often been derided as unproductive, in the video Mr. Weiner says he won money to hire police officers in the city, fought for assistance for first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and helped win the battle to pass a health insurance overhaul.

“We can make a difference, if we’re willing to fight for it,” he says.

Later in the video, he adds, “I’m running for mayor because I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life, and I hope I get a second chance to work for you.”

The video features multiple reminders of Mr. Weiner’s family — an important strategy if he is to reassure voters made uneasy by his online behavior. The first word in the video is “Jordan,” the name of Mr. Weiner’s infant son, spoken by the candidate as he and his wife, Huma Abedin, are shown feeding the child. Ms. Abedin, who has worked as a close aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, is shown seated side-by-side with Mr. Weiner at the close of the video, and says, “We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony.” The video also shows Mr. Weiner’s childhood elementary school and describes his mother’s work as a schoolteacher and his father’s career as a lawyer.

by Anonymousreply 1305/22/2013

Since he resigned from Congress under intense pressure from Democratic Party leaders in the summer of 2011, Mr. Weiner has opened a strategic consulting firm that allowed him to cash in on his Washington connections.

But he has remained on the sidelines as the city grappled with contentious debates over a living wage requirement, mandatory paid stick leave for workers and a ban on large sugary drinks, inviting inevitable questions about why he is returning to politics now.

His nascent campaign has struggled to attract marquee political strategists, as it has faced the rejection of many potential recruits and instead hired Danny Kedem, a 30-year-old with little experience in New York as a campaign manager.

But Mr. Weiner’s raw talents, as a tireless political tactician and verbal jouster, are hard to discount, making him a formidable opponent even in light of his troubles.

His political philosophy has always been something of an anomaly in the city’s more liberal Democratic world. He has called for a single-payer health care system and pushed for hybrid taxis even as he has called for tax cuts and voted for the war in Iraq.

Friends and former aides expect him to stake out similar territory in his run for mayor, casting himself, as he does in the video, as a centrist champion of the city’s vanishing middle class.

This time around, he will be missing a longtime calling card: his reputation as an in-the-trenches champion of the boroughs outside of Manhattan. It was an identity that propelled him to a six-term Congressional career representing Brooklyn and Queens.

Last year, though, Mr. Weiner moved from Forest Hills, Queens, to Gramercy Park in Manhattan, where he lives in a four-bedroom luxury apartment with Ms. Abedin and Jordan.

by Anonymousreply 105/22/2013

He's out of his mind! He will never be mayor, and he's also known to be an asshole.

by Anonymousreply 205/22/2013

He knows he won't be mayor. But that's not his goal. This is all about him rehabilitating his image so he can run for a different office.

by Anonymousreply 305/22/2013

VOTN If that was true, it's quite an expensive endeavor. He's going to be subjected to a lot of dick jokes.

by Anonymousreply 405/22/2013

You New Yorkers are spoilt. The rest of the democratic left is licking their lips in anticipation of Weiner's arousal.

by Anonymousreply 505/22/2013

Until I can see his fully erect cock in all its glory, he does NOT have my vote!

by Anonymousreply 605/22/2013

He actually has a pretty sizable war chest left over in his old campaign account, so he has money to run.

And if he gets the dick jokes out the way now, there will be fewer of them if he decides to run for Congress again, or indeed, governor one day. It's worked for other people; the majority of people don't think of Monica Lewinsky immediately when they think of Bill Clinton these days.

He's polling better than Bill deBlasio, although he's still well behind Christine Quinn.

by Anonymousreply 705/22/2013

Today's Daily News ...

WEINER'S ALL IN! Disgraced politician officially thrusts his way into NYC mayoral race following weeks of speculation.

by Anonymousreply 805/22/2013

The Weiner has $4 million sitting around from his last race. Must use it or lose it. By running he's able to get $1.5 million in additional funding.

by Anonymousreply 905/22/2013

This guy has some balls. I mean he really does. Just check his phone if you don't believe me.

by Anonymousreply 1005/22/2013

Today's POST...

WEINER IS IN ... AND TOO SOON.

by Anonymousreply 1105/22/2013

I always liked him. He's a talented politician and should go back into public life - at some point.

If he's doing this to get the dick jokes out of the way in this election cycle - fine. If he is serious - it'll end in tears. It's too soon after his cock-phone weirdness for him to have a shot at any serious office.

by Anonymousreply 1205/22/2013

I'd vote for him. I'm no prude.

by Anonymousreply 1305/22/2013
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