'I learned some tough lessons': Disgraced Anthony Weiner joins race for New York mayor

Former congressman resigned following 'sexting' scandal in 2011

New York

Two years after Anthony Weiner’s political career was undone by revelations that he had been sending lewd pictures of himself to women on Twitter, the former Congressman has announced a bid to return to public life by running in the race to succeed Michael Bloomberg as the Mayor of New York.

A YouTube video complete with soft music, shots depicting Mr Weiner as a devoted family man and lamentations of how New Yorkers were finding life “harder and harder everyday” confirmed the 48 year-old’s intention of following in the footsteps of other fallen politicians by seeking “a second chance.”

“Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons,” he said, seeding a campaign that promises to disrupt the Democratic field ahead of the November poll.

It will be a tough sell. In 2011, Mr Weiner spent several days denying that he had used his Twitter account to send a picture of his crotch (clad in underwear) to a Seattle college student.

In one interview with the New York Times, even as he claimed that his account had been hacked, he skirted around the question of the provenance of the image, saying: “I can’t say with certainty very much about where the photograph came from.”

The lies collapsed at a 6 June press conference where an emotional Mr Weiner admitted to inappropriate online exchanges with a series of women and apologised to his wife of less than a year, Huma Abedin, a long-time aide and close confidante of the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I have exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years,” he said.

Ten days later, on 11 June, at another press conference where hecklers yelled “pervert” as he spoke, Mr Weiner said he would abandon his seven term Congressional career. The resignation also seemed to have put to rest his ambitions of running for New York’s Mayor.

Now, as he attempts to revive his career by going after a job that he had aspired to for years, he is armed with what is reported to be a campaign war chest of $5m (£3.3m). The current Democratic field is populated by relative unknowns, with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn considered the frontrunner. Mr Bloomberg, the billionaire who was first elected Mayor in November 2001, is barred from running again after completing his third term this year.

In his video, which first appeared prematurely appeared online overnight on Wednesday and then was officially released in a morning email from the candidate, Mr Weiner portrays himself as a champion of the middle class. Images of the former Congressman with Ms Abedin - who is expected to be by Ms Clinton’s side if she makes another bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016 - and their young child, give way to a summary of Mr Wiener’s roots in Brooklyn.

Things were different then, he suggests, before turning to how he says they’ve changed: sky-high rents across the city, deteriorating schools, business burdened by regulations. “It doesn’t have to be that way,” he says, highlighting his achievements in Congress. The pitch ends with an endorsement from Ms Abedin, who, sitting beside her husband, says: “No one will work harder to make it better than Anthony.” 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before