Disgraced former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, may be thinking of running for mayor of the Big Apple, as an anonymous pollster has reportedly been dropping his tainted name during phone calls aimed at judging voters' opinions about Weiner, and the possibility of such a run.
The pollster has reportedly been calling New York City residents and asking them about the 2013 race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Weiner's name is one of those the survey lists as a possible candidate in what would likely be a hard-fought five-way primary for the Democratic nomination, according a Tuesday story in the New York Daily News.
“Clearly, it was someone polling to test whether Anthony Weiner has any viability in the mayor's race,” a Manhattan Democrat who was called by the pollster on Monday told the Daily News.
Questions in the poll included inquiries about their current opinion of Weiner, as well as that of the four leading Democratic candidates in the mayoral race: City Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, and the city's current public advocate, Bill de Blasio.
The unnamed Manhattan voter was then asked which of the five candidates he would vote for in the Democratic race if it were held today, the Daily News reported.
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After the introductions, the pollster read a series of positive and negative statements about each of the candidates. Weiner's were as follows, the Manhattanite told the Daily News: first a reminder that Weiner was “forced to leave Congress for sending lewd pictures and lying about it," and second that “many people say he doesn't have the temperament to be mayor,” but that he was a "fighter" while in Congress, and that he is married to esteemed Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Weiner became a national household name in June 2011, when he resigned in disgrace after it was revealed he had inappropriate online relationships with a number of women. He was forced to admit at a press conference that he had lied when he said his Twitter account was hacked when he tweeted out an inappropriate, NSFW image that he intended to send out as a private message but instead went to all of his followers.
The ensuing media frenzy led him to retreat to Long Island while he waited for the hubbub to die down, but his name is still a popular topic of conversation -- and butt of jokes -- in New York City political circles.
This is not the first time the concept of a Mayor Anthony Weiner has seemed feasible, as he ran for the position in 2005, before coming in second to Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic primary.
And as recently as July 2012, rumors were flying that he may be considering entering the 2013 mayoral race, in which he was considered the Democratic front-runner before he quit his congressional seat representing parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
NBC New York reported in July that Weiner seemed to be considering a run for public office because he was receiving matching funds on the cash in his campaign account, and eligibility for those matching funds would end this year.
And his finances would certainly not be his biggest concern if he were to run for office, as the Daily News reported that he has about $4 million in his campaign coffers left over from fund-raising he did for a possible mayoral run in 2009.