After Republican Mark Sanford won his special election in South Carolina’s first Congressional District Tuesday, progressive newspaper Politico used his victory to raise the profile of disgraced former New York Representative Anthony Weiner’s potential mayoral run.
According to Politico, the consensus among elites in social media and the punditocracy is that “after Sanford won his old South Carolina congressional district over Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch… there was no politician who could be more grateful for the outcome than Weiner, the former congressman who resigned amid scandal and who’s eying a comeback of his own.”
As Politico noted, elite media organizations like CNN and the Daily Beast (Tina Brown reportedly said on Wednesday morning that Weiner must be giving himself a “high-five” after Sanford’s win) suggested New Yorkers may give Weiner a second chance like voters in South Carolina’s first Congressional District gave Sanford. Weiner, like Sanford, is a hard-charging campaigner, “whose retail campaign skills exceed any of the Democrats running” for mayor, just as Sanford’s surpassed those of his opponent.
Author Maggie Harberman did concede, though, that Weiner would have to go through some tough political obstacles if he decides to re-enter the political fray. New York political advisers have noted that Weiner would not be running against political neophytes, and New Yorkers can actually be less forgiving on moral issues than voters in other parts of the country.
And while Sanford apologized profusely for his transgressions, Weiner has still been in the faces of the same reporters he has sparred with in the past, especially when his failings and past shortcomings have been mentioned. Politico also notes Sanford’s scandal was “more familiar to voters” than Weiner’s, which involved his use of social media to send lewd pictures of himself to strangers. In addition, it was easier for Sanford to run against President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi than it will be for Weiner to run against a Republican bogeyman in New York.