As many suspected, that video Anthony Weiner filmed on the steps of his parents' Park Slope home wasn't part of some ridiculously elaborate home movie. After publicly deliberating for several weeks, Weiner officially announced he's running for mayor in a campaign ad posted around midnight. The video is the visual companion to his New York Times Magazine profile, minus the verbose soul-searching. It opens with a shot of Weiner and wife Huma Abedin at home with their young son, and includes a plea for redemption. "Look I made some big mistakes, and I know I let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons," says Weiner, adding, "I hope I get a second chance to work for you."
Speaking of mistakes, the New York Times reports that the announcement video was "posted prematurely," and wasn't meant to come out in the middle of the night. It was pulled for a time and then re-posted in the morning, along with a partially updated campaign website that still included some references to his congressional run.
Unfortunately for fellow candidate Bill de Blasio, Weiner's announcement is certain to overshadow the Times profile celebrating his outer-borough appeal and Brooklyn hipster credentials. Weiner's ad highlights his middle-class Brooklyn upbringing, rather than his recent move from Queens to a swanky Park Avenue apartment and his lucrative post-scandal consulting career.
So far it seems Weiner is sticking to the strategy outlined by his not entirely real campaign team in the pages of New York; the video mainly focuses on his policy ideas, such as creating opportunities for the middle class and reducing fines for small businesses. Also, Abedin is prominently featured, saying, "We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony." (She doesn't go on to utter the recommended line "This is who my husband is. He can be an idiot ... I've given him a second chance, and I hope you will, too," but she says it with her eyes.)
Whether Weiner can pull off a Mark Sanford-like comeback remains to be seen, but for a man who tweeted his way into an epically humiliating sex scandal on Memorial Day weekend just two years ago, he's already doing surprisingly well.
This post has been updated throughout.