Former congressman Anthony Weiner, now unfortunately better known for his boxer shorts than his legislative career, may be considering another political run.
The Democrat, previously the representative for New York’s 9th congressional district, spent nearly $100,000 on polling and research during the month of March alone, according to campaign filings released last week. The discovery has fueled new speculation that Weiner could be contemplating another bid for office, less than two years after he was forced to resign from the House.
Before he was caught sending explicit photos of himself to women through text messages and social media, the six-term congressman was considered to be the leading candidate to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor of New York. But considering that Weiner has made no other move to establish a presence in the 2013 mayoral race (he also told DNAinfo.com there was “nothing to report” on that subject”) it’s unlikely his name will appear on a ballot anytime this year.
Some media sources speculate Weiner is biding his time until 2016. According to the New York Post, Weiner has been telling friends he will get his “revenge” against his Democratic colleague Nancy Pelosi -- who urged him to resign when news of his sex scandal broke -- “when Hillary is president.” His wife, Huma Abedin, is a longtime Clinton aide.
So what does the public think of Weiner’s potential return to public life? People on Twitter, ironically the medium that exposed his sexting habit, have a lot to say, from funny to vile:
Sexual pervert & deviant Anthony Weiner is polling to see if he can run for NYC Mayor...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2013
Big day in the USA! Tiger is dating again, Hillary supports homosexual agenda and Anthony Weiner planning a run for office.#ObamaEraNonsense
— Frank Beaudine (@usa_truth) March 19, 2013
Waiting for Senator Cruz to read a tweet from Anthony Weiner.
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) March 7, 2013
#ThingsMoreCharmingThanObama Anthony Weiner's wiener
— Shaughn (@Shaughn_A) March 13, 2013
— barbara stanfield (@barb33477) March 15, 2013
— Justin Cuffley (@JustinCuffley) March 16, 2013
From social media, it's clear that Weiner's Twitter escapade is still far from being forgotten. It's difficult to predict how vitriolic the blowback could be if he actually did, officially, run for political office.
Weiner, who won the seat that used to be Chuck Schumer's before Schumer became a senator, became a national presence toward the end of the health care reform debate in 2009 and 2010. In 2005, he ran in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City, where he finished second.
The congressman was a notably fierce advocate for his constituents. A 2010 video of Weiner criticizing Republicans for opposing a bill to provide funds to sick 9/11 first responders ultimately went viral, peaking with the congressman forcefully declaring, "I will not yield to the gentleman!"
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...