Despite his unrelenting claims of confidence ahead of tonight’s Democratic primary, former Congressman Anthony Weiner finally conceded he’s not going to become the next occupant of Gracie Mansion.
With more than 80 percent of precincts reporting results, Mr. Weiner trailed in a distant fifth place, holding about 5 percent of the vote as front-runner Bill de Blasio inched towards 40 percent.
But the sexting scandal-riddled former congressman absorbed the loss with no lump in his throat at Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant tonight.
“I don’t think this city has ever seen a race with so many ideas discussed,” he said defiantly, alone, with neither his wife nor his son by his side. “We did 125 new ideas every single day, and we didn’t just do the easy stuff, we did the hard stuff.
“My brothers and sisters, 600,000 children who don’t have partisan children will go to bed hungry tonight,” Mr. Weiner shouted into the lights. “We reminded people of that problem … There is no doubt about it. We had the best ideas. Sadly, I was an imperfect messenger.”
Mr. Weiner looked like a winner not longer after he leaped into the race, but his campaign nosedived as soon as reports surfaced that he had continued sexting long after he had resigned from Congress–sometimes under the alias Carlos Danger.
What he apparently hoped would be a serious campaign to succeed incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg spiraled into clown car wreck territory as ratings-seeker angled for ways to ask Mr. Weiner about his audacity.
In the end, it worked for the cameras but not for the voters, as the besieged middle class residents Mr. Weiner courted steered clear, replaced by the likes of Sydney Leathers, one of the objects of Mr. Weiners’ cyber incarnations, who tonight landed in the midst of the media circus, appearing at the event, and saying the would-be mayor needed to cool off with a heavy dose of sex therapy.
In his speech, Mr. Weiner relentlessly self-imposed message discipline.
“Families have been knocked down again and again,” he said. “These are the New Yorkers we care about. This is why this campaign never quit. Because they never quit.”
He choked up when he mentioned his working class father but recovered for a defiant finish.
“If you keep fighting, I’ll keep fighting,” he said.