CHICAGO, July 18, 2012 — According to the New York Post, New York Times, and Politico, former U.S. Congressman from New York, Anthony Weiner, wants to plunge back into politics. He’s dipping an appendage into the political waters to test for temperature and depth.
Barely a year after falling from grace for tweeting his bulging package, Weiner wants back in. He had his fifteen minutes of shame. For him that is enough.
Guys like Weiner can never figure out what they did wrong or why they should suffer consequences. The world is supposed to forgive them, forget about their follies and their lies, and just move on.
They have a preternatural need for the limelight. If they are neglected for more than four hours they call a press conference to discuss their pain.
Supposedly Weiner is rising to the occasion to mount a campaign for elected office in New York City. Mayor or Public Advocate was mentioned. Weiner is said to have roughly $4.5 million dollars in his political war chest.
All that cash can cure even the worst case of electile dysfunction. Cash is the perfect aphrodisiac. It arouses deep passions.
The political hot dog is said to have the full support of his wife, who has been urging him to do something. It is not known whether politics is what she had in mind.
If Weiner thrusts himself back into politics, his biggest problem will be his digital wiener-waving past being brought up during the campaign. He was forced to resign his House seat when he became embroiled in a steaming sexting scandal, appropriately called “Weinergate.” The hotter the flames got the more blistering he took. The well-seasoned frank politician had to resign to get off the grill.
Some say public activity is a cure for electile dysfunction. Eliot Spitzer, AKA client number 9 with socks, is cited as one who rebuilt his career as the media maven no one watched, listened to, or took seriously. Spitzer finally prostituted himself to Current TV. If you are going to pattern yourself after someone, it should be someone who can successfully rise up to the occasion to mount a comeback.
Pundits, comedy writers, and late-night TV hosts are gearing up should Weiner inject himself into a campaign. The ribald comedic power of the Weinder brand is enormous. Who can really take him seriously?
Weiner’s website is still active. There are pages titled “Weiner Blog,” “Weiner TV,” and “Write Weiner.” It looks like Weiner, or whoever designed it, is a weenie. It also has the crucial pages, “Contribute” and “Volunteer.”
Stranger things have happened in public life and politics. Bill Clinton rose from the ashes quickly. He became more popular as an ex-president than he was as president. Of course it helps to have friends who are billionaires and power brokers who can fund an international non-profit do-gooder organization for you.
Clinton mastered the art of making friends and influencing people. He will not be unloved.
Unlike Clinton, who was a deal maker and back slapper who knew the power of the human touch, Weiner was an annoying, yapping ankle biter. Clinton commands attention. Weiner demands it. There is a very big difference.
Weiner knows that politics, like crime, is a tough business for tough people. It is not for limp of spirit. But it may be too soon for him to enter the fray again. People still snicker when his name is mentioned.
On the other hand, if not now, when? Weiner may have to wait eight or more years to run for office. That is a long time to be politically celibate. For a little guy with a big ego, that is a lifetime.
If Anthony Weiner decides to enter politics again, he will not be ignored. He might be small but he grows on people. Weiner is a tireless worker and fearless campaigner. He will do whatever it takes to win. Weiner will troll neighborhoods ringing door bells, wear out shoe leather humping sidewalks, make steaming phone calls, shake hands on train platforms, hug babies, suck face with grandmas, and all the other popular things people need to do to win.
He was known as a prodigious fundraiser, which is why so many Democrats wanted to salvage his flagging career. Weiner will campaign hard, long, and strong. The problem will be his staying power while facing a barrage of ridicule.
Why can’t disgraced politicians just go away forever? Why do they have a deep core belief that citizens cannot survive without them? Why do they think they are more important than they are? Why do they think they are even needed?
Weiner does not deserve a second chance. He, like every single politician, never deserved a first chance. Public service is not a right or entitlement. No one deserves to run or hold public office. It is a privilege, duty, and honor. When you disgrace and dishonor your position or abuse your privilege you have a duty to disappear. You have no right to a resurrection, re-erection, or reelection.
Of course people like Weiner need a career in politics. They really can’t do anything else. They have no marketable skills, lack basic intelligence, and are intellectually challenged.
UPDATE: CBS News reports that Weiner is denying stories he is plunging back into politics for now. He told the Wall Street Journal, “It’s a clown story, bro.”
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.
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