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politics

Will Anthony Weiner Actually Run for Mayor?

As we learned yesterday, Anthony "I've Been Hacked" Weiner is still sitting on a lot of pre-2009 campaign donations — $4.5 million to be exact. With a looming deadline for public matching funds, sources close to the Queens ex-congressman tell the New York Post that he's "desperate" to get back into politics.

I've heard he is seriously thinking about getting into a citywide race in 2013 and would like it to be mayor. In his mind, he's trying to figure out how to run for mayor.

Are New Yorkers ready for that? Maybe not quite yet, an unnamed political consultant tells the Post:

The general feeling is that you can't text pictures of your penis to a girl, then lie about it, then get kicked out of the House and then run for mayor right after. But people believe there is a way for him to run for a lesser office.

That lesser office would appear to be the New York City Public Advocate, which sources say is Weiner's backup plan. It does make a certain amount of sense. While the gig is less glamorous than the mayoralty, the Public Advocate's do-gooder cred could eventually help Weiner convince the public he's fit for a bigger political role. Plus, while City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's own $4.5 million war chest would pose a serious challenge were Weiner to vie for Bloomberg's seat, his money and citywide name recognition would likely swamp whatever competition he'd have for Bill de Blasio's spot.

Besides a campaign office (which he already has) and staffers (which he's in the process of recruiting), all Weiner has to do is declare his candidacy, craft a clever "What crotch shot?" ad campaign, and pick an issue to run on. We suggest the high-school sexting epidemic.

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Photo: Alex Wong/2011 Getty Images