At a press conference this morning announcing the groundbreaking of the Sugar Hill Affordable Housing Development on 155th Street, Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed the possibility scandalized former congressman Anthony Weiner might be planning a political comeback.
Mayor Bloomberg first mentioned Mr. Weiner, who resigned last June after he was caught sending illicit Twitter messages to several women, when a reporter asked him about a situation involving an ex-Vietnam veteran who has been sleeping in his hot dog cart in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art because he claims rival vendors will take the prime real estate if he leaves the area in the evening.
“Why did I know we were going to get a Weiner story today?” Mayor Bloomberg joked.
Indeed, after the hot dog cart question, Mayor Bloomberg was asked about Mr. Weiner’s potential comeback and whether he thinks it’s too soon for the disgraced lawmaker to plot a return to politics.
“You know, it’s America and I don’t wish him any ill. He’s got to make a living, and he’s got to have a life and whatever he thinks is appropriate,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
The Mayor said he hasn’t spoken with Mr. Weiner since the scandal other than to congratulate him on the birth of his son last December.
“I haven’t talked to him in a long time, but I think the last time I did, Diana and I had dinner with he and his wife–it was probably two years ago and we had a very nice dinner,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “They had a baby, I congratulated him on the baby, and they’ve got a right to their own lives and he’ll go ahead and do what’s right for him.”
Mayor Bloomberg didn’t always feel this warmly towards Mr. Weiner. Prior to his Twitter scandal, Mr. Weiner was regarded as a leading candidate to follow Mr. Bloomberg’s footsteps in the Mayor’s Office. Prior to the 2009 mayoral election, Mr. Weiner accused Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign team of planting negative stories about him in the press because he was viewed as a threat to Mr. Bloomberg’s shot at winning a third term. In 2010, Mr. Weiner was quoted by the swearing-averse New York Times saying that, if he was elected mayor, he would spend his first year “tearing out” Mayor Bloomberg’s “[expletive] bike lanes.” The current comeback chatter surrounding Mr. Weiner has focused on the possibility he may run for mayor in 2013.
As far as the other “Weiner story,” Mayor Bloomberg said the hot dog vendor’s situation is being handled.
“We’re talking to him,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “I personally am not going to go and make the bed, but he does not have to worry about it and we’re going to take care of it.”