Anthony Weiner Longs for a Second Chance in Politics, Friends Say

July 16, 2012

When it comes to former Representative Anthony D. Weiner’s political future, there are a few indisputable facts.

He has roughly $4.5 million in the bank for a political candidacy and a deadline to use it next year or miss out on getting up to $1.5 million in public matching funds.

He wants to return to politics, according to friends and former staff members.

And, as much as he might desire to run for office, he faces a major challenge in overcoming the scandal over his lewd online behavior that spurred him to resign his House seat last year.

Beyond that, there are mostly questions, the biggest of them being when Mr. Weiner may attempt a comeback. On Sunday, he declined to comment when asked directly about his immediate political ambitions.

An article in The New York Post, taking note of expenditures reported in a recent campaign filing and his deadline for receiving matching funds, suggested that Mr. Weiner was considering running for public advocate or even mayor next year.

His refusal to address his political future only stirred further speculation.

Some suggested that, a little more than a year after the scandal that ended his Congressional career, it was too early to pursue a second life in politics.

“It’s much, much too soon,” said Bruce F. Berg, a political science professor at Fordham University.

“In a crowded Democratic primary, especially for a citywide office, he doesn’t have a chance,” he added.

If nothing else, the buzz showed that Mr. Weiner was still capable of generating chatter in a mayoral field that seems to be solidifying despite its lack of star power.

With his war chest, Mr. Weiner would have an edge over several of the likely Democratic candidates. William C. Thompson, Jr., for instance, a former comptroller and a declared mayoral candidate, has raised only $1.5 million for the race so far, according to a statement by his campaign on Sunday.

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