Anthony Weiner’s first TV ad doesn’t mention his sexting scandal, but it uses the same language (specifically the phrase “powerful voices”) he used in an e-mail to his mailing list shortly after the whole Sydney Leathers thing surfaced. “Look, powerful voices have made it clear from the very beginning they didn’t want me to win. But this isn’t about what they want. They’ve gotten their way for far too long,” Weiner tells us in his new ad. He doesn’t identify who these voices belong to, nor did he in July when he wrote that his latest sexting scandal had given “fresh fodder” to “powerful voices … making it clear that they still don’t want me to run.”
It’s not hard to find powerful people who don’t want Weiner to run. The editorial boards of the New York Times, Daily News, and Wall Street Journal all said as much very clearly the day before his mailer went out, in response to the new sexting scandal. (The Times had previously helped him enter the race with its self-reflective profile.)
Before he announced he was running for mayor, a Quinnipiac poll found 49 percent of voters disapproved of the idea of Weiner entering the race. So maybe those are the powerful voices? But obviously that’s not what Weiner means here. He’s talking primarily about the Daily News and the New York Post, which he cited by name in a recent briefing with Orthodox Jewish media as writing negative stories about him since he decided to run.
But Weiner, the former congressman whose name has rarely been out of the headlines since he entered this race, is not exactly coming from a position of weakness. The fact that he’s got enough money to buy a television ad in the first place shows that. Among Democrats, he trails only Christine Quinn in fund-raising, with $6.2 million to her $8.6 million. So yes, powerful voices are expressing displeasure with Weiner staying in the race, but he’s got one of his own to fight back with. And this ad is, in part, how he’s doing it: