The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 22, 2013

Anthony Weiner launches bid to become NYC mayor

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In recent interviews, he has said he shouldn't have lied but did it because he wanted to keep the truth from his then-pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She told The New York Times Magazine that she has forgiven him.

Weiner has taken a series of steps recently to rehab his image and reintroduce himself, including the lengthy magazine profile and a series of local TV interviews. He hasn't responded to interview requests from The Associated Press.

He also has released a platform of sorts, a list of ideas styled as a blueprint for helping the city's middle class thrive. He's made a point of highlighting one or more of the concepts on most days, via his newly revived Twitter presence.

The suggestions, some of them updates from a mayoral run he nearly made in 2009, range from giving every public school student a Kindle reader to using Medicaid money to create a city-run, single-payer health system for the uninsured.

Some seem to draw on his Washington experience, such as making more use of a federal cigarette-smuggling law. But others fall squarely within City Hall, including suggestions to create a "nonprofit czar" in city government and eliminate paid positions for parent coordinators in schools.

The document also opens a window on a vision of the city — a place with "a can-do attitude, competitive spirit and aggressive nature" — that sounds not unlike Weiner himself. He was known during his seven terms in Washington as a vigorous defender of Democratic viewpoints, unafraid to get combative whether it was on cable TV or the House floor, and as a tireless and instinctive politician.

"Anybody who underestimates Anthony Weiner's ambition is a fool. And anybody who underestimates his ability as a candidate is a fool," retired Hunter College political science professor Kenneth Sherrill said. But "we're going to see, basically, if Weiner can take hits as well as he can dish them out."

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