Weiner was a pol, with every bit of the cheesy hustle that implied. But Huma knew that. She’d seen it before. Then again, after all that perfect British education and using the right fork at state dinners, maybe that was what she liked about him.
“What do you want me to say, honey?” Huma asked. “That you’re happier or not happier?”
“I don’t want you to say anything. I just want your honest opinion.”
“Okay,” Huma said. “I would say, on the whole, you are slightly less happy since you started running for mayor.”
“Thank you, Huma!” Weiner declared.
Before I took off, Weiner said there was one thing that hadn’t changed since the beginning of the narrative that had consumed his life over the past two years. He still felt like a character in a movie. He found this kind of liberating, going along with the flow, “free from trying to manage the torque of the tide.”
“What kind of movie?” I asked. “A Fellini movie?”
“No,” Weiner said. “Not like that. … It’s more like—who’s the Blue Velvet guy? David Lynch! A David Lynch movie. More like that.”
On the eve of the Fourth of July, Anthony Weiner, a front-runner for the moment, stood on the steps of City Hall to announce a “Declaration of Independence from Albany and a New York City Bill of Rights,” a document he’d based on ideas Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28, and 31 of his “Keys to the City” booklet. Why should some yokel from “Skinnyapolis” be telling New Yorkers how to run their business? It was time to make permanent the city’s control over public schools, to give the city the right to raise and lower its own taxes.
It was a little peek into one possible future, a world where Mayor Anthony Weiner would not be cowed from tweaking the tale of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who, after all, was quoted as saying “Shame on us: If Weiner were to win the election.” Toss Comptroller Eliot Spitzer into that brew, and a $20 billion seawall won’t be enough to hold back the sea of testosterone.
Weiner’s narrative had already taken him to the steps of power. It was no great stretch to imagine it would push him another 100 yards or so, into the chair currently occupied by Mike Bloomberg. One day deeper into his David Lynch movie, it was impossible to rule anything out.