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Anthony and the Giant

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It was pretty clear who this was, since Hillary was going to the Far East and there wasn’t much chance she was getting on the plane without her “body woman.” Close observers say that Weiner, after much tabloid coverage of various liaisons with New York media eligibles including The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead and the sometime TV producer Alli Joseph, a.k.a. Adrenaline Alli (check out that pic gallery on her site—hot, hot, hot), is “definitely serious” about Huma. The word is Weiner, whose parents divorced and whose brother, Seth, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2000, “looks forward to a more settled life.” Asked if thinking about being a family man might have some impact on his mayoral future, Weiner said, “That’s pretty much none of your business, isn’t it?”

“I don’t think Mike Bloomberg is invulnerable,” said the candidate, sitting at a table in the lobby of the Brooklyn Marriott hotel, where he’d just been honored by the elders of the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention. A more guarded and careful man than Anthony Weiner, Bill Thompson nonetheless agrees that it will be “a sweet piece of irony” if Mike Bloomberg were to lose the 2009 election after “outrageously scuttling the process.” Asked how he planned to attack the mayor, Thompson said he felt that Bloomberg had “many weak spots,” not least of which the mayor’s obsession with Wall Street and his cozy relations with the now teetering real-estate industry. “I’m not afraid of his money,” Thompson declared. “Because people understand how remote he is, how little he has in common with them. He says things like, ‘We love rich people,’ but that’s wrong. He loves rich people. There are other people in New York, and that’s why a year from now we’ll be having this conversation in City Hall.” This seemed a proper degree of bravado for someone about to try to run against Bloomberg, even if when asked what his chances were—five to one? Ten to one?—Thompson bristled, “No way I’m ten to one.”

Still, as Freddie Ferrer, outspent ten to one by Bloomberg in 2005, says, “It was a rough experience. But if I had to do all over again, I would. Because you have to make the argument.” Barring unforeseen events, that will be Bill Thompson’s job now.

As for Anthony Weiner, there is still talk of his jumping back in. (Even if the only Democrat who could give Bloomberg a race is probably Bill Clinton.) He plans to attend candidate forums here and there, although with none of his usual hell-bent ardor. That is the small tragedy of Anthony Weiner. Maybe he would be a good mayor, maybe not. But we won’t find out now.

The day after he was in Bushwick, Weiner, who piles on the appearances as if consuming White Castle sliders, is out in the Bronx for the Throgs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade. A whole slew of pols have turned up, standing in a line with the bagpipe players and baton twirlers. “Plenty of votes out there, gentlemen,” says one of the bulb-red-nosed parade monitors. Weiner has arrived in a green knit V-neck and a bullhorn, offering a St. Paddy’s Day shout-out to patrons of every bar along East Tremont Avenue. About halfway through the route, Bill de Blasio comes up to Weiner. A City Council member from Brooklyn, De Blasio was one of the mayor’s staunchest opponents during the term-limits fight.

Indicating the bullhorn, De Blasio says to Weiner, “You’re incorrigible,”

“No,” Weiner says. “I’m corrigible.”


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