New York’s former Congressman Anthony Weiner is now ranked second among Democrats in the mayoral race, a new poll found.
The NBC New York/Marist University poll showed Democratic voters’ potential interest in him as the city’s mayor. He earned 15% of the vote, behind Christine Quinn’s 26%. Quinn is currently the Speaker of the New York City Council.
“He’s got a lot of strengths. He’s smart, he’s more of a centrist than a lot of the people in the Democratic primary, and he’s a fighter,” Mark Halperin, msnbc and Time Magazine senior political analyst, said Wednesday on Morning Joe. “And he knows how to use the media…he’s got more of the traits than the people who he’s running against.”
Last week the New York Times Magazine released an interview with Weiner in which he said he has his eyes on New York’s 2013 race for mayor.
“I do want to have that conversation with people whom I let down and with people who put their faith in me and who wanted to support me,” he said in the interview. “I think to some degree I do want to say to them, ‘Give me another chance.’”
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after confessing to sending a sexually suggestive tweet to a college-aged woman.
“I think it’s probably too early,” said Steven Rattner, Morning Joe economic analyst and former treasury official. “I think whatever you think about Weiner and what he did or didn’t do, to come out at this point after not much time has passed in a field that is quite crowded already…I think the women’s vote might be a little bit of a challenge.”
If Weiner ultimately decides to run for mayor, he could parallel Mark Sanford, whose career was postponed in 2009 after he confessed he was having an extramarital affair when he had told the people of South Carolina that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was governor of the state. Sanford, who is now running for his old House seat in a special election, used the first few months of his campaign to apologize for his actions.
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter also refused to let a sex scandal stand in the way of continuing his career in politics. In 2007, he was caught in a prostitution scandal. But by 2010, the state’s voters propelled the Republican back into office for a second, six-year term. In addition, there is speculation he might run for governor in 2015.