By MC Bousquette.
When I first started writing this piece, the introduction began with an expression of extreme confusion that the public could possibly have forgotten about Anthony Weiner’s twitter scandal, an event barely a year old. But, thankfully, the man himself ensured that we have more to remind us of his penchant for explicit conversation on the internet.
By now, I’m sure most people have heard of “Carlos Danger,” Anthony Weiner’s online pseudonym. Apparently, Weiner initiated yet another online, explicitly sexual relationship with a woman after the Twitter scandal broke last summer. We now know that this wasn’t the only relationship he maintained; there are in fact a number of women with whom Weiner was in contact. Weiner now “estimates” this number to be between six and ten.
Anthony Weiner has now reached the point that he does not deny these relationships, but instead denies addiction to sexting. It really does seem that his campaign is approaching the end of days. He has lied to both the American public and the press multiple times. He and his wife, Huma Abedin, are attempting to use the Clinton strategy, acting as if the American public is oblivious to what they’re doing. Weiner and Abedin also seem oblivious to the lack of a parallel their relationship holds to the Clintons; Pres. Clinton had Monica Lewinsky, not six to ten Monicas with pictures included. Danny Kedem, Weiner’s campaign manager, resigned from the campaign today. It is almost completely implausible that Weiner’s mayoral campaign will survive the month, much less the election cycle.
The “Weiner is a Wiener” discussion aside, the real question remains: who does the sudden outpouring of Weiner scandals help?
A new poll now puts City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 25%, whereas Weiner is now even with former city Controller William Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 14% each. A different, new poll gives Quinn as much as 27% support, with the other candidates just as far behind.
In other words, the mayoral race is back to where it stood before Weiner’s brief and bizarre attempt to resurrect his political career. Quinn seems the uncontroversial and likely favorite once again, with her early surge and continued focus on the middle class bolstering her return to the top.
As the current City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn has the most public recognition of the non-Weiner candidates. There is the slim chance that either de Blasio or Thompson will surge from behind as a dark horse candidate, but building that kind of momentum throughout New York City in time for the election could prove to be extremely difficult. Christine Quinn has received endorsements from the National Organization for Women and Emily’s List, among others, the most significant of which might be Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame. Her willingness to condemn Weiner for his actions has only given her more of a national stage, with statements such as that she gave CNN, “No one should have behaved this way, no one should have lied about how they behaved this way. His gender isn’t the issue for me. The issue is that he clearly has a disconnect from an ability to tell the truth and a pattern of reckless behavior.”
“Social media” and press strategy aside, the campaign comes down to the fundamental issues on which a majority of New Yorkers are focused. Transportation, education, crime, and the city economy all play important factors in regional town halls and debates. It is in this realm that Quinn also holds a strong advantage as the current City Council Speaker.
Unless some sort of scandal befalls Christine Quinn, or women from Weiner’s past miraculously stop appearing, New York City will almost certainly elect its first female mayor this November.