After a policy-heavy press conference this morning, Anthony Weiner did what mayoral candidates in this race rarely do: signed an autograph.
Mr. Weiner had wrapped up an event in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn–where he stood outside a kosher supermarket touting his plan to allow small business owners to contest fines on their blocks using mobile vans–when a woman, bashful at first, approached the former congressman to ask for an autograph.
“Do you think he’ll give me an autograph?” the woman, 60 year-old Anna Gordon, asked Politicker beforehand. “I love him.”
As Mr. Weiner, made famous by the Twitter scandal that forced him to resign two years ago, finished speaking with one of his petitioners, Ms. Gordon ambled up to Mr. Weiner to ask him to sign a piece of paper.
“I thought you were a member of the press,” Mr. Weiner quipped to Ms. Gordon, who said she lived around the block.
“No, I’m just a bystander,” she said.
Mr. Weiner then scrawled his name in light blue cursive letters on Ms. Gordon’s paper.
“Thank you so much, I will frame this!” she gushed.
“Don’t be silly,” Mr. Weiner replied.
Ms. Gordon subsequently told Politicker that she genuinely admired Mr. Weiner and did not want his autograph because of his infamous past.
“I respect him no matter what happened with him, it’s in the past, you know?” she asked. “I just respect him because he comes from the background … to become somebody important again, do you know what I mean?”
She clarified she was referring to the scandal.
“He’s trying to make changes in his life. I look up to him like that, I appreciate him very much … I just used to see him around TV and admired the man,” she said.
As Mr. Weiner took off from an impromptu visit to a local firehouse, we asked him if he had signed autographs before. Mr. Weiner, clearly interested in shifting the narrative of the campaign to a debate about the policies outlined in his “Keys to the City” booklet instead of his celebrity, bristled at the question.
“Yes,” he said tersely, still suffering from a sore throat after the Puerto Rican Day Parade, before charging off with his handlers.