By Chan Lowe
3:58 AM EDT, April 12, 2013
Even by New York standards, Anthony Weiner’s political comeback is a little…precipitate. After all, Bill Clinton waited longer than two years to rehabilitate himself after the Monica Lewinsky debacle, and he didn’t expose himself to anybody but her (thank God).
We know that the Big Apple is the birthplace of second acts, where people become famous for simply being famous (or infamous), and where reinvention is admired. But Weiner violated an unwritten code. Like Clinton, his greatest sin wasn’t the act itself (in this case, disseminating nude photos of himself to “friends” online), but that he lied about it. He maintained a sanctimonious innocence about it until even he realized it was better to cut his losses and retire from public view. As if that weren’t enough, his widely respected wife was pregnant at the time. “I gotta problem widdat,” as one of Weiner’s old District 9 constituents might say.
New Yorkers can forgive the nude photo part. In Gotham, that’s what they call, “branding.” But the only solid currency a politician possesses, particularly in a parochial district like his, is trust. He violated it. Now he wants to be mayor of the whole shebang. If his own people out in Brooklyn and Queens can’t take him at his word, how does he expect someone from Manhattan (even the notoriously pink Upper West Side) to connect with him?
Weiner does have one advantage in his aspirations to replace Michael Bloomerg down in Gracie Mansion: Whatever opponents he draws won’t be able to use the scandal against him, because New Yorkers already know everything about it there is to know.
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