The Final Indignity

So Anthony Weiner’s mayor campaign has just put up its first actual television ad, and it’s being interpreted (at least by CNN’s Kevin Liptak) as a gesture of denial:

Anthony Weiner’s campaign for New York City mayor released its first television commercial Monday, though the spot didn’t allude to the lewd messaging scandal that rocked his campaign and preceded a drop in the polls.

The spot instead focuses on Weiner’s plans for the city, and features the candidate speaking directly to voters.

“I’ve waged a campaign focused like a laser beam on fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it,” the former congressman says in the spot.

“Powerful voices have made it very clear from the beginning they didn’t want me to win,” he continues. “But this isn’t about what they want. They’ve gotten their way for far too long. If you give me the chance I’ll fight for you and your family every single day.”

The commercial ends with the familiar “doors closing” chime from the New York City subway.

Here’s the brief spot if you’re interested:

Powerful Voices from Anthony Weiner on Vimeo.

Now you may wonder, Why is he bothering? Is it important to Weiner’s ego to arrest his free-fall and finish in the double digits? Is he trying to set the foundation for yet another comeback down the road? Or is this sheer obstinance?

I don’t really know, but you may recall that the formal launch of his mayoral bid back in May was spoiled a bit when he was spotted filming what appeared to be a campaign ad. I’m guessing Weiner had already bought time for stretch-drive ads well before the revelations of post-confessional, post-congressional-resignation sexting sank his prospects for good. So what’s he going to do? It’s not like television stations will give you a refund because your campaign imploded.

Still, you have to figure the ad is going to serve as the final indignity to the donors who contributed to Weiner before the latest cataclysm, and who now must watch their money basically subsidizing late-night comics’ routines. I’m sure many are now wishing they’d written post-dated checks.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.