Memoirs of the Anthony Weiner Mayoralty

Harry Seigel


on how Mike Bloomberg’s campaign team worked behind the scenes to spook Anthony Weiner out of a 2009 mayoral run.

“We didn’t have as much at the time he dropped out as he thought we had,” the campaign official said, stressing that the campaign’s aggressive early shots at Weiner and other hardball tactics were meant to give the Congressman a sense of just how much damage the mayor, with his effectively unlimited resources, could do if he didn’t back out of the race he’d been widely expected to enter. That tactic, in which the mayor effectively picked his own opponent , conveniently doubled as a way of selling the press on the inevitability of the mayor’s third term after his successful bid to overturn term limits stripped Weiner of what had been his frontrunner status.

The model story and another Post exclusive on missing Congressional votes to play hockey at Chelsea piers, “Weiner’s a Pucking Goof-Off,” seemed to register the most damage. Weiner and his staff complained openly and bitterly about the cascade of hits , and accused the Bloomberg campaign of planting the hockey item .

The hook, as expressed by the anonymous aide, is that Bloomberg’s efforts spared New York City from a sex-crazed schmuck of a mayor. If you want to be really cynical about it, New York City recently had a mayor who carried on an affair in office, and Rudy Giuliani’s popularity suffered, but Manhattan didn’t collapse into the river. If you want to skip the cynicism, think about the timing. Weiner lost a mayor primary, dodged a bullet really, in 2005. (No one was going to beat Bloomberg that year.) He was a favorite to become mayor of New York City when Mike Bloomberg’s term ran out. Then, in 2008, the city council looks at rewriting the term limits law – just for Bloomberg. All of a sudden, Weiner is no longer looking at an easy path to his dream job. In October 2008 , the law’s overturned. And Bloomberg’s team starts making life difficult for Weiner. In 2009 he drops out of the race. Throughout 2010 it becomes clear that Democrats will lose the House, making Weiner less relevant; they lose the House in November.

Now, think about the timeline of his sexting problems. Most of the stuff we know about happened in 2009 and 2010 . He says the communications were with six women over around three years. It all reminds me of what John Edwards did to himself. We know nothing about any Edwards infidelity before 2006. When did he start cheating? After his wife got cancer, after he lost the vice presidency, and as he was totally failing to get traction in the 2008 campaign. This stuff is tied to ambition. We don’t know how sex-crazed Mayor Weiner would have been had he been elected in 2009. We do know that he would have had the same brain as the guy who was stupid enough to use Twitter – Twitter! – to send crotch shots, so maybe he was never destined for success.