The prophecies have come true and the day we all knew would come has finally arrived: Anthony Weiner is running for mayor of New York City.
Political comebacks are always fascinating to watch. Who can forget Napoleon returning from exile on Elba to rule France for another 100 days until his defeat at Waterloo? Or Mao Tse Tung swimming across the Yangtze River after killing tens of millions in the Great Leap Forward so that he could go on to kill several million more in the Cultural Revolution? Or Marion Barry being re-elected mayor of Washington, D.C., even after being arrested in his third term for using crack cocaine? (I egregiously overlooked Barry on my earlier list of unfathomable political comebacks.)
And a comeback is exactly what's needed for Weiner, who resigned from the House of Representatives after sending a picture of himself in his underwear — while "pitching a tent" — over Twitter to a woman who was not his wife (his wife being Huma Abedin, aide to Hillary Clinton). Weiner initially claimed that his account had been hacked — which should have sparked national security concerns, given that Weiner had been on the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security — but later admitted that he had indeed sent the photo. He resigned, and his political career looked to be over.
But now he's jumped into the ring for NYC mayor, putting Weiner in something of a novel position. Because although he has some advantages in his run for mayor — including millions of dollars carried over from previous political campaigns — one of those advantages is a mixed blessing. In particular, he has great name recognition, but his name actively recalls the disgrace that forced him to resign from the House. Merely saying his name, "Weiner," vividly summarizes the entire scandal.
Perhaps, however, he can take a cue from the other prominent Weiner in politics: Michael Savage (previously named "Michael Weiner"), host of The Savage Nation radio show. Whatever you think of Savage's punditry — in which he, well, savages his liberal opponents (like Weiner) — the name-change has served him well. Granted, Savage has also had the good sense not to send pictures of his activated 'nethers around on social media, but, really, the new name has a dynamic appeal that's undeniable.
If Weiner is going to have any hope of running a SFW campaign and winning the race to be mayor, he needs to have a serious makeover. In particular, he has to choose a new name, one that doesn't constantly raise the issue over and over and remind us of his shortcomings. (His campaign would also do well to avoid certain phrases like "standing up for you" and "he's the whole package".)
But, what should Anthony Weiner's new name be? It can't be something that re-creates the initial problem, so monikers such as "Oscar Meyer," "Frank Furter," and "Pat McGroin" are all out. And, given the chilly reception from New York's Democrats, adopt-a-mayoral-candidate solutions such as "Anthony Cuomo" or "Anthony Schumer" also seem to be non-starters.
Weiner really needs to go the Savage route. He should pick a name so commanding that speaking it practically obliterates all opposition, almost as if summoning the supernatural. It could even be a somewhat comical name: "Brock Samson" and "Race Bannon" are already taken, but "Kent Claymore," "Tank Punkmaster," and "Dash Windsprints" are still available.
Come on, folks, we can't let Weiner down in his time of need. Let's prove that there's no problem caused by social media that can't also be solved by social media. Leave your suggestions for Weiner's new nom de guerre in the comments section below.
Please, though, keep them tasteful. Or at least plausible.