Presumably part of the reason Anthony Weiner agreed to spend days talking with a writer from The New York Times Magazine was so when asked about the sexting scandal that destroyed his career, he could refer reporters to the emotionally raw 80,000 word profile on the subject. Though it was largely lost in the Boston Marathon bombing coverage, on Monday we got our first look at how well that strategy is going to work when Weiner sat down for an interview with NY1. Though he urged New Yorkers to “look at the fuller picture of Anthony Weiner,” it’s clear that people aren’t moving past certain photos as quickly as the former congressman would like.
Just days after revealing that he’s eyeing the mayoral race, on Sunday Weiner was already trying to shift the discussion toward the issues by releasing a recycled policy booklet from 2009. On Monday he did reveal where he stands on two big issues in the current race — he’s against creating an NYPD inspector general and wants to continue stop-and-frisk — but of course, those aren’t the biggest questions on people’s minds.
Rather than giving a simple “no comment,” Weiner delivered a lengthy rehearsed speech on why he wouldn’t be getting into the details of his sexting “out of some respect for the privacy of the people who were at the other end of these correspondences, who had their lives turned upside down.” When NY1’s Errol Louis gently pushed the issue, a somewhat exasperated Weiner said that none of the women involved were underage, and he probably didn’t use public resources to communicate with them (“I can’t say with finality yes or no, but I don’t believe so.”)
Not that Weiner wasn’t sympathetic to those who feel they have a right to pry into his unfortunate tweeting habit, especially after he lied about it with such passion. Weiner apologized for deceiving Louis in a previous interview, and for lying to his constituents. “Think I’ll be spending a lot of time, from here on out, saying I’m sorry,” he said.
“I understand, I completely get it,” Weiner said of those pushing for details, while noting that he’s already discussed them at length with Huma and, “I do have some concern, first for the idea that I don’t want to have these conversations continue.” In that case, declaring his intention to run for mayor probably wasn’t the smartest move.