Peeling out from the political woodwork is a Democratic hopeful, vying for the spot of New York City’s Mayor. Spectators for the city election are shocked as former Congressman Anthony Weiner makes a surprising advance among Democratic hopefuls. In a recent poll, Weiner comes in with 15% of the vote, right behind Christine Quinn who takes 26% of the vote.
The surprise, however, doesn’t come from a doubt of whether or not he can do the job, but whether he has made his reappearance into politics too soon after a scandal broke out in 2011 about an extramarital affair the Congressman was having. In response to these fears, Weiner stated in an interview, “I do want to have that conversation with people whom I let down and with people who put their faith in me and who wanted to support me ... I think to some degree I do want to say to them, ‘Give me another chance.’”
If Weiner does make it past the primary, he could come face to face with Mark Sanford in the general election. Back in 2009, Sanford also had to postpone his career due to an extramarital affair. This face-off could result in a lower voter turn-out rate, especially among women. When asked about the timing of Weiner’s run, economic analyst Steven Rattner stated, “I think it’s probably too early ... I think whatever you think about Weiner and what he did or didn’t do, to come back out at this point after not much time has passed in a field that is quite crowded already ... I think the women’s vote might be a little bit of a challenge.”
Six months before the primary, Weiner stated in an interview that he had resigned because he was saving his marriage and that was more important to him than his career. Now that Weiner is polling so well, it looks like his career is back in the spotlight. While this could be a great stepping block for the former Congressman to get back into Democratic politics, many Democratic women may still be leery of his intentions.
If Weiner can prove to women voters that he can be a focused, disciplined elected official, he might still have a chance, but it will be an uphill battle. Women voters can make or break an election, and if he can’t find a way to communicate his message, he might be better off setting up a retirement fund.