As Anthony Weiner continues his dramatic fall from grace amid yet another sexting scandal, calls for the politician to withdraw from the New York City mayoral race continue to mount. In an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post, actor Alec Baldwin called the election a “pivotal one” for the city. After 12 years under the leadership of Michael Bloomberg, Baldwin feels New Yorkers deserve a leader who is in tune with the needs of the middle class. “But Weiner can’t be that person,” Baldwin wrote.
“It would be one thing if a man had an affair, doing what comes naturally with a partner other than his wife,” said Baldwin. “It's another thing to text compromising photos of yourself and thus hand someone a loaded gun. However, it is, without doubt, entirely something else, again, to ultimately resign one's seat in the U.S. Congress, both embarrass and disappoint yourself, your family and your constituents and then repeat that very same behavior right at a time when your poll numbers are about to climb.”
Baldwin takes Weiner to task for his “reckless” behavior, stating that the mayoral hopeful should withdraw from politics and perhaps consider pursuing public office at a much later date down the road, as time tends to soften transgressions. “Weiner is smart and tough,” Baldwin wrote. “Who knows? He may come back and prove himself as a great public servant. But New York does not need a mayor who has an uncontrollable desire to self-destruct the moment he feels he has fooled the voters into giving him their trust.”
Baldwin isn’t the only person calling for Weiner to withdraw from the race. Others, such as New York City mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Sal Albanese, have also gotten in on the action. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn -- Weiner’s main opponent -- also criticized the disgraced politician, but stopped short of calling for him to withdraw, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
“The circus that Mr. Weiner has brought to the mayor’s race these last two months has been a disservice to New Yorkers who are looking for someone who has the judgment and maturity to lead this city and a record of actually delivering real results for them,” Quinn said in a statement.
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In a story first broken by gossip website The Dirty, Weiner is under fire for engaging in a series of sexually explicit chats and images to a 23-year-old woman in Indiana, using the screen name “Carlos Danger.” Weiner admitted the allegations were true and that the exchanges occurred sometime last summer, a full year after he resigned from Congress for the very same behavior.
The scandal could prove fatal to Weiner’s campaign. According to the latest NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll for the month of July, Christine Quinn has vaulted ahead of the other candidates, enjoying a 25 percent lead. Weiner has fallen to second place with 16 percent. He previously led with 16 percent in June.