Anthony Weiner and the Enemy Within

Here’s Representative Anthony Weiner responding to a question about his management skills–and his reputation for high staff turnover–yesterday at the Crain’s business breakfast, which was before the New York Times story reported that he has run through more staff than any other member of the New York House delegation.

“I think I’m tough but I’m fair,” he said, adding, “And I’m cheap.”

In the story, Weiner chalks up his attitude to growing up in Brooklyn as a middle-class kid (always on message!).

City Councilman Lew Fidler, who also grew up middle-class in Brooklyn (and supported Freddy Ferrer over Weiner in the 2005 mayor’s race) told me, “I push my employees too and I haven’t had any turnover in six years. So, I don’t know why the two were necessarily linked.”

When asked how important Weiner’s temperament will be during the next mayoral campaign, which Weiner is considered a major candidate for, Fidler said it’s tricky. He then recalled an early episode of Star Trek, where Captain Kirk was somehow split into two versions of himself: one was good with a pleasant disposition, the other was bad and had loud angry outbursts. According to Fidler, Kirk‘s ability to govern the crew and make decisions came from his bad and irrational half.

Which led Fidler to this: a solitary issue doesn’t define someone. “You can’t isolate that character trait and say whether or not someone will be a good mayor,” he said.