Disgraced Weiner to run for New York City mayor
Former US congressman Anthony Weiner, whose career imploded in a rash of raunchy tweets two years ago, has said in a YouTube video announcement that he is running for mayor of New York. He had said last month he was considering entering the race.
"I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I also learned some tough lessons," Weiner said in the video. "I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance."
With that, Weiner is embarking on an audacious comeback quest, hoping to go from punch-line politician whose tweeted crotch shot was emblazoned on the nation's consciousness to leader of America's biggest city.
The Democrat is jumping into a crowded field for September's primary. He's arriving with some significant advantages, including a US$4.8 million campaign war chest, the possibility of more than US$1 million more in public matching money, polls showing him ahead of all but one other Democrat, and no end of name recognition.
His participation makes a run-off more likely, and many political observers feel he could at least get to the second round.
But Weiner has also continued to contend with questions about his character and the scandal that sank his career.
After a photo of a man's bulging, underwear-clad groin appeared on his Twitter account in 2011, he initially claimed his account had been hacked. After more photos emerged - including one of him bare-chested in his office - the married congressman eventually owned up to exchanging racy messages with several women, saying he'd never met any of them. He soon resigned from his seat.
Weiner has recently said he shouldn't have lied but did it because he wanted to keep the truth from his then-pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton. She told The New York Times Magazine that she has forgiven him.
Weiner has taken a series of steps to rehabilitate his image and reintroduce himself, including the magazine profile and a series of television interviews.