It's no secret that Anthony Weiner (D) — the former lawmaker who resigned in disgrace after tweeting photos of his crotch — would one day like to be the mayor of New York City. He unsuccessfully ran for that office in 2005 and planned to do so again in 2009, though he ultimately dropped his bid, saying he couldn't overcome Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) enormous personal fortune and political entrenchment.
With Bloomberg set to leave office this year, Weiner has seemingly begun to lay the groundwork for a fresh mayoral campaign. However, he's refused to say whether he'll go through with it.
Here, a brief timeline of Weiner's non-campaign campaign:
January - March 2013
Campaign finance disclosure forms reveal that Weiner spent more than $100,000 on campaign-related expenses in the first three months of the year. He paid a California firm $54,000 for polling, and another $52,500 for campaign consultation. He spent thousands more on "office rent" and office telephones."
Coincidentally, an anonymous pollster reportedly started asking around in January about Weiner's popularity in the city.
April 10, 2013
The New York Times Magazine runs a lengthy profile of Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. Weiner had stayed almost entirely out of the limelight since his resignation from Congress, and the profile has all the signs of a would-be candidate buffing his tarnished image ahead of a comeback attempt.
In that profile, Weiner says that while he's interested in running for mayor, he's not sure he'll do so.
"I don't have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office," he says.
April 15, 2013
Weiner's public relations tour continues, as he conducts a sit-down interview with local channel NY1. Again, he remains coy on whether he'll actually run.
"I want to be part of the ideas primary. That's for sure. That primary I want to do very well in," he says.
April 16-19, 2013
Two polls find Weiner in second place among potential mayoral candidates in a Democratic primary. An NBC News/Marist survey shows him drawing 15 percent of the vote, putting him behind only City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's 26 percent.
A Quinnipiac poll released days later also finds Weiner in second place, trailing Quinn 28 percent to 15 percent. To avoid a primary runoff, a candidate needs to garner 40 percent of the vote, and given the crowded primary field, that may prove difficult.
April 22, 2013
Weiner returns to the scene of his political downfall by launching a new Twitter account. As if that weren't a clear enough sign he is preparing for something, his first tweet is simply a link to an updated version of a policy paper he authored, called "Keys to the City: 64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class."
Though the paper offers suggestions for creating jobs, improving education, and overhauling city governance, it does not declare that Weiner should be the guy to do so. Still, it reads like a run-of-the-mill stump speech, with lines like, "We must meet today's challenges with fresh ideas. Bold ideas. Substantive and practical ideas."
As of today, that Twitter account has sent only 13 messages, all but one of them references to his 64-point plan.
May 14, 2013
Politico reports that Weiner has hired a campaign manager, Danny Kedem. Weiner has also reportedly hired a press secretary and is preparing to fill out a campaign team.
It's the clearest sign yet that Weiner will be getting into the race in the near future. All that's left for him now is to formally declare that he's… oh, wait.
May 15, 2013
The New York Post, yet to exhaust its supply of phallic puns, reports that sources have confirmed that Weiner is definitely running, and that he could announce his candidacy as early as next week.
May 16, 2013
NBC New York spots Weiner filming what appears to be a campaign ad on the steps of his childhood home in Brooklyn. As NBC notes, that home is the same place where he launched his 2005 mayoral campaign.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Your ultimate guide to apple cider
Subscribe to the Week