It's official: former congressman Anthony Weiner is considering a bid for mayor of New York.
“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” he said. “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. I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is . . . am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”
In the interview, Weiner takes a mild shot at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, by saying he can't get past her support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's successful push to extend term limits. It's been reported that Weiner has commissioned polling; the former congressman says the results show he would be "the underdog." But he still has $4.3 million in campaign funds in the bank.
Weiner told the Times he's not interested in running for public advocate, the position held by another Democratic mayoral hopeful, Bill DeBlasio.
The Fix looked at Weiner's chances of a comeback last year and suggested it was a little too soon.
Weiner clearly hoped to clear the air with the interview; he explains the thinking that led to what he calls "one fateful tweet" of his crotch and says he started psychotherapy after the scandal broke.
“I wasn’t really thinking. What does this mean that I’m doing this? Is this risky behavior? Is this smart behavior? To me, it was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired,” he said.
His wife, Huma Abedin, was also interviewed. A longtime staffer for Hillary Clinton, she talks about how she learned of her husband's transgressions and why she decided to stay. "Here was a man I respected, I loved, was the father of this child inside of me, and he was asking me for a second chance," Abedin said. "It was the right choice for me. I didn’t make it lightly.”
The pair first gave a joint interview last year, to People magazine. "I want people to know we’re a normal family," Abedin said at the time.