Anthony Weiner thinks it's time people gave him a second chance—and possibly a shot at running the nation's biggest city. After spending $100,000 on consultants and pollsters last month, the former congressman has confirmed in a lengthy New York Times Magazine interview that he is considering a run for New York City mayor, saying he realizes "it’s now or maybe never for me." More from the 10-page profile of Weiner and wife Huma Abedin:
- Of Weiner and Abedin, Jonathan Van Meter writes, "They seem to be functioning again as a couple, even unselfconsciously bickering in front of the waiter."
- They've stayed out of the spotlight for almost two years, during which time Weiner has been a stay-at-home dad. Says Abedin, "I have now gotten used to people asking, over and over again, ‘How is Anthony?’ Oh, he’s good! ‘But how is he doing?’ He’s doing fine."
- Their first date, back in 2001, was a doozy. Abedin initially turned Weiner down claiming work obligations, but he got Hillary Clinton to give her the night off even as Abedin was behind him, frantically shaking her head "no." Her friends approached Weiner while she was in the bathroom to inform him she was not interested, and Weiner claims she "ditched" him, never returning. As they ran into each other over the next few years, Abedin continued to think Weiner was a "jerk," she says. But by 2008, after becoming good friends, they were a couple.
- After the infamous Twitter scandal broke while Abedin was on a work trip, Weiner "left me a message: 'My Twitter was hacked,'" Abedin says. "I lied to her," Weiner says. "The lies to everyone else were primarily because I wanted to keep it from her.” As the scandal grew, says Abedin, "I was right there with him: ‘Let’s fight! Defend! I don’t understand. Why don’t you just say this is not your picture?’ I was with him. One hundred percent.”
- When he finally told her the truth, Abedin says she felt "every emotion that one would imagine: rage and anger and shock. But more than anything else, in the immediate, it was disbelief." She told him he had to publicly confess, Weiner says. At the news conference, a secretly pregnant Abedin "felt like I couldn’t breathe," she says. “I felt like I was in an airplane really high in the air, and all of a sudden, the plane is coming apart at the seams, and I am just doing all I can to hang on for dear life."
- Abedin won't talk about the personal conversations she had with Clinton during this time, but she does say the Clinton family offered her "unconditional love and support."
- Of the aftermath, Abedin says, "I did spend a lot of time saying and thinking: ‘I. Don’t. Understand.’ And it took a long time to be able to sit on a couch next to Anthony and say, ‘OK, I understand and I forgive.’ It was the right choice for me. I didn’t make it lightly.”
- Weiner traces the origins of his sexting to constant engagement on Twitter and Facebook and his search for an emotional outlet: "It was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired." Van Meter writes of this portion of the interview: "Never has an interview felt so much like a therapy session."