Former congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned over an embarrassing sexting scandal last year, is reportedly considering a bid to return to elected office. Ignoring analysis from some political experts who say the incident was a career-ending implosion, Weiner has been contacting local power brokers and his own former staffers to discuss a comeback, possibly with a run for mayor of New York City. Weiner, once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, still has the support of his wife, Huma Abedin, a high-ranking aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Could Weiner really claw his way back so soon after his cringe-inducing downfall?
It takes more than infidelity to sink U.S. politicians: Weiner really might have a realistic path to redemption, says Keyana Stevens at The Village Voice. He still has $4.5 million in campaign funds at his disposal, enough to make him a contender in any city race. If he's smart, he might hold off on going for Gracie Mansion right away, instead running for Public Advocate, a do-gooder post considered "first in line to succeed the mayor." Weiner may have looked like he was finished, but apparently you "have to commit more than a passing infidelity in order to be shut out of politics."
"Disgraced pol Anthony Weiner considering a mayoral run"
Weiner might be able to come back... just not yet: "It's much, much too soon" for Weiner to ask voters to forgive him, Fordham University political science professor Bruce F. Berg tells The New York Times. He might have a chance at a second political life, but it could take years for those images to fade. "In a crowded Democratic primary, especially for a citywide office, he doesn't have a chance."
"Anthony Weiner longs for a second chance in politics, friends say"
He can try, but his image is tarnished for good: Weiner is in a worse position than politicians whose transgressions were far more egregious, says Azi Paybarah at Capital New York: Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer bounced back because their scandals "involved little visual evidence of their wrong-doing." Weiner's adventures were sex-less, but he compounded the damage by sending indecent photos of himself to female supporters, and those will follow him around "as long as there's an internet."
"How long will Anthony Weiner's trial balloon stay up?"
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