Former Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D-N.Y.), who resigned in 2011 in the midst of a scandal over lewd online behavior, is considering running for mayor of New York City this year. "It's now or maybe never for me," Weiner told the New York Times Magazine, acknowledging that this maybe his last chance to return to the political sphere.
Nonetheless, it seems as if his campaign, if he were to run, would be ridden with obstacles. To begin with, his reputation is badly suffering as he has yet to regain public confidence.
A major question is whether voters will be able to forgive him and look at him as a reasonable candidate. In 2011, he resigned his seat as Democratic representative of a district that includes neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens after the scandal that erupted. Weiner had sent lewd photos of him to women following his Twitter account, and then had falsely claimed that his account had been hacked. He also engaged in sexual conversations on Facebook with women he had never met.
Weiner explained his behavior, as "it was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired."
In the interview, Huma Abedin, the wife of Mr. Weiner and a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, explained that although she took her time, she managed to forgive her husband, and now voters should also give him a second chance. Abedin says that her husband is a new and humbled man: he's a stay-at-home father living a quiet life in an apartment on Park Avenue South.
Regaining voter confidence, however, might be a bit harder than winning his wife's. Weiner is trying to slowly come back to the political scene by appearing more and more in the media. For instance, his public visibility has increased in recent months, first with a photo shoot in People magazine that featured Weiner and Abedin with their infant son, Jordan, and then, over the weekend, with tabloid photos of the family.
Another obstacle would be funding his campaign. If Weiner decides to enter the race for mayor, he will have a head start on fundraising, as he currently has $4.3 million left over from a failed campaign for mayor in 2009, in which after vowing to challenge Mayor Bloomberg for his third term, he dropped out of the race. This year he would be eligible for an additional $1.5 million in public matching funds; if he does not use the money this year, he will lose them.
In order to qualify for public funding this year, Weiner would have to declare his candidacy by June 10. As of now, he doesn't know when and if he'll decide to enter he race.