Anthony Weiner’s newly-minted mayoral campaign is humming along and political observers are in constant discussion as to whether he can accumulate the necessary votes to win. In particular, some have wondered whether Mr. Weiner can secure support in the more socially conservative Orthodox Jewish community–some of whom reside in his old congressional district–or if the salacious details of his 2011 sexting scandal are simply too much.
Judging by the cross-section of callers who reached out to Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s post-Shabbos radio show Saturday night, Mr. Weiner still has some work to do–and not only because of the scandal.
Yaakov from Midwood, for example, espoused a conspiracy theory that Mr. Weiner is not technically Jewish because his mother was not. His mother has firmly stated that she is.
“Truth being told, halachically Weiner is not Jewish,” the caller asserted. “His mother had a non-valid conversion so he’s not a member of our community, unbeknownst to many people.”
He went on to say Mr. Weiner, who is married to Huma Abedin–a top Hillary Clinton aide, whom Rep. Michele Bachmann and a handful of other conservative Republicans allege has ties to the militant Muslim Brotherhood–would “invite the Muslim Brotherhood into City Hall because … his wife’s brothers and sisters living in Saudi Arabia are all members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sisterhood. I don’t think we want to see that in this city.” The connection has been widely refuted.
“I have yet to meet a Jewish person who has adopted the Islamic community to the extent that Weiner has,” George from Manhattan piled on. “That’s not what a Jewish person does.”
(Mr. Hikind, who did not dispute his guests’ comments that night, only intervened when George called Mr. Weiner “a little penis.”)
Tzvi, also from Manhattan, was upset at Mr. Hikind for even discussing Mr. Weiner on his show. The former congressman was brought down by a lewd Twitter scandal and Tzvi slammed the topic of “sexual stuff in the Jewish community.”
“I’m disappointed in the subject that you are talking about: this piece of dirt,” Tzvi declared. “Shut him out! He shouldn’t be on the radio and you shouldn’t talk about it … He’s a pervert; he’s not worth even to talk about.”
These comments were echoed by Terry on the East side, a proud supporter of Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign who repeatedly exclaimed that “what he does on the screen”–meaning his original scandal–amounted to nothing more than audacity. “I look at it in one word, he’s got chutzpah! Weiner, that’s it,” she said. “He’s got chutzpah.”
Not everyone was upset with Mr. Weiner, however. Matthew from Midwood described himself as “very much” a supporter of his candidacy.
“I’m really looking forward to Anthony Weiner’s candidacy,” he said. “If his wife can look past that, then who are we to say he is not qualified to be mayor?”
Another caller, Moshe from Boro Park, was undecided but wanted to see if the former congressman maintained his old roots in Brooklyn and Queens or lost them when he moved to a swanky Midtown residence following the scandal.
“Let’s see what he has to say,” he said.