Everyone loves a comeback, especially in a tabloid city like New York.
But are people ready for an Anthony Weiner comeback?
In a profile in the New York Times Magazine, Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, have finally responded to the crotch shot heard round the world, nearly two years later. The Times profile reveals that Weiner has spent considerable time and money on a potential run for NYC mayor despite his fall from grace. His political committee spent $100,000 on a professional poll that revealed people are willing to give him a second chance. Further, public opinion and some informal feedback he’s received while taking the subway, says that Weiner’s has a real shot. His wife, Huma, has already given him a second chance so who is to say that the people of New York won’t respond in kind?
Of course, Huma’s choice in supporting her husband was a far more personal one than most taxpayers have to make. She had a child to consider and also her own political career going forward. As the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Abedin had a demanding job that thrust her into the public spotlight, though nothing could prepare her for the scrutiny that followed once that oh-so-famous Weiner tweet went viral. Some may argue that she is a shrewd politician who stayed with him as a calculated move to benefit her own career. While she maintains it was a choice she came to with great difficulty. As she said in the recent profile, “It took a lot of work ... for me to get to a place where I said: ‘OK I’m staying in this marriage.’ And I’m not going to say it was an easy or fast decision that I made.”
While the profile is largely sympathetic towards Abedin and Weiner, it also seems like a calculated move on their part. Aside from one photo spread that appeared in People Magazine shortly after their son, Jordan, was born, they have avoided publicity until now. But time is of the essence if Weiner is going to make a power move back into the political ring. Currently, he has about $4.3 million from campaign funding left over from 2009, with the prospect of acquiring another $1.5 million in matching funds, according to the New York Times. Perhaps it’s time for Weiner to break out of defensive mode and spring into the offensive, a stance that he built his reputation and political career around.
Though speculation abounds about Weiner’s comeback, the real wild card is Abedin and whether or not she will continue to play the role of supportive wife, or branch out on her own. Afterall, she is a self professed workaholic who until the scandal was largely tied to her job and career and would go days without seeing her partner. Is her complete about-face also believable? And what if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016 and she’s tapped once again to take on a large role within the campaign? While the mystery wore off on Weiner long ago, his wife still remains the wild card and may in fact be the deciding factor in whether he runs at all.