Anthony Weiner, a once rising star in the Democratic Party and husband of longtime Hillary Clinton aide is running for Mayor of New York, but neither Hillary or Bill Clinton want to talk about that. Weiner, husband of Huma Abedin, a close aide of Hillary Clinton in the State Department, announced his bid for mayor in a two minute ad (more on that in a moment). Weiner, in case you somehow missed this, is in need of a comeback after his namesake (get it?) got sent all around the internet in a scandal that ended with Weiner resigning from the House of Representatives. A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton explained that her staying out of the New York City Mayoral race has nothing to do with Weiner, and everything to do with her connections to the other candidates.
“Secretary Clinton knows all of the candidates, she has worked with many of them, and is close with many of them, so won’t be weighing in one way or the other,” Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement to POLITICO.
To be fair, he has a point. Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign manager from 2000, Bill DeBlasio, is also a candidate. The race also includes Christine Quinn, who would be New York City's first female and openly gay mayor and Bill Thompson, who would be NYC's second black mayor. It is, in short, a race where some political caution is prudent, especially if, say, you were thinking of running for president in 2016.
"The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear,"
an anonymous Democratic source told the New York Post. "Every time he pops up, it's a reminder of Bill's scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and it isn't helpful to Hillary's hopes for 2016." It should be noted that anonymous sources to the New York Post aren't quite the gold standard of credibility, but they aren't so unreliable as to not report them.
Weiner's ad aims to display family values (where he has some ground to make up), friendliness and New York pride. He proudly walks the brownstone-lined streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood he grew up in. He mentions catching Met games, and his campaign colors are that of the lovable loser Mets. He makes a populist appeal about how it's harder and harder to be middle class in New York City. Then, finally, he acknowledges his past transgressions:
"Look I made some big mistakes, and I know I let a lot of people down. But I also learned some tough lessons."
Huma Abedin, the main person Weiner let down, then speaks on camera, showing that she has forgiven Weiner. The question is, will New York?