It was a huge week for Anthony Weiner, who thrust himself back into the public eye with a flattering cover story in The New York Times Magazine just two years after his infamous crotch tweet and cover-up stalled a once promising career. Now Weiner is mulling a comeback in a crowded Democratic primary field for mayor of New York City. And this week, that makes him one of our Weiners and Losers.
Can’t get enough of our winners and losers? Tune in to the “The Capitol Pressroom” with Susan Arbetter each Friday at 11:05 a.m. to hear about our weekly picks.
Susan Arbetter – The host of WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom was the governor’s go-to interviewer this week, and plenty of people listened in to hear what he would say about Fred Dicker’s scoop in the New York Post that the governor is plotting to oust Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver. (Unfortunately, Cuomo didn’t say much on that subject.) The governor has now gone weeks without appearing on the radio show hosted by Dicker, his old ally, and who better than Arbetter to fill the gap? (And we’re not just saying that because she lets us discuss our winners and losers on her show every Friday.)
Edward Korman – Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you can respect the New York district judge’s conviction in putting politics aside and sticking to science in ruling that the morning-after pill be made available over-the-counter to females of all ages. In his ruling, Korman scolded the Obama administration for restricting its availability and going against scientists at the Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Korman will surely get an earful from conservative and anti-abortion groups, but moral and social issues aside, the judge was in lockstep with medicinal science in making a tough decision.
Charles Schumer – There are certain politicians who wither under the bright lights. Not Chuck! Give that man a national issue to stump and some press coverage, and there are few better salesmen. He was all over the news cycle this week for his involvement in two hotly debated issues: gun control and immigration reform, the legislation for both he has taken a heavy role in negotiating. When a bipartisan compromise was reached in the Senate on expanding gun background checks, Schumer was modest enough to remain largely behind the scenes. Add in his vocal advocacy for increased federal aid to homeowners who paid out of pocket for Superstorm Sandy repairs, and it’s been a good week for the senator.
Sheldon Silver – Did Dicker make up his story about Cuomo wanting to coup the speaker? Has Cuomo only been pretending to be mad at Dicker, so he could leak through him and have plausible deniability he was the source? Is Dicker still even writing the book? Whatever the answers are to these murky questions, what is clear is that the threat of a rebellion – imagined or otherwise – quickly caused Shelly’s minions to close ranks and protect their leader, proving that it’s going to take a whole lot more than rumor and innuendo to take out Silver.
Anthony Weiner – The cocksure former congressman laid the groundwork for a mayoral run in the Times this week, and he and his aggrieved but ultimately forgiving wife, Huma Abedin, came off as likable people who were coping as best they could. He might not win the primary, but he would be competitive, and that notion alarmed his rivals. There’s little downside in a Weiner run – and if nothing else, it means more over-the-top Post covers.
James Dolan – This Dolan could never get elected Pope. The National Labor Relations Board filed two complaints against Cablevision this week, accusing the company of bargaining in bad faith with unionized workers and chastising Dolan for telling Bronx workers they would be excluded from job opportunities if they voted to unionize. City leaders also say Dolan has stymied the region’s future economic growth by refusing to move Madison Square Garden from its site above Penn Station, which desperately needs to be renovated. Only one thing could make things worse: the Knicks failing to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
Christine Quinn – Is the speaker going to try to shut down Quinnipiac University, because in its latest poll her numbers are down five points? While there were some bright spots for the speaker this week – like the fact that her opponents remained frozen in the vicinity of twenty points behind her – the most memorable image of the week was Quinn’s disembodied head hovering in a smoke-filled room. To be honest, we hadn’t even watched the NYC Is Not For Sale PAC ad until the speaker started howling that Cablevision and Time Warner could lose their licenses for running the 30-second spot. We’re sure all those reporters at NY1 don’t mind at all that Quinn threatened their livelihoods over a run-of-the-mill, easily forgettable attack ad – and will be totally dispassionate in their coverage if later this cycle any pro-Quinn IEs pop up.
Eric Schneiderman – The attorney general applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals to combat public corruption – but it was a slight missed by none that the changes the governor proposes do nothing to further empower Schneiderman. Cuomo, who once battled corruption and tried to increase his own authority while he was AG, said that district attorneys should prosecute dirty electeds – a role these political animals have been historically loathe to fill. The governor has taken some heat lately for failing to live up to his pledge to “clean up”Albany. With a seemingly endless onslaught of public corruption cases, Cuomo might do well to put politics aside and look to Schneiderman for help.
Frank MacKay, Dan Cantor and Mike Long – Don’t think rescinding Wilson Pakula and doing away with fusion voting is a big deal? These guys do. The ability to cross-endorse is central to their power and yet no less than Governor Cuomo went on the radio this week – on Arbetter – and raised the possibility of stabbing a stake through their political hearts. While the odds are still against the system changing, the threat to these third party dons’ influence has never been greater. Cuomo already took out the Liberal Party in 2002. Are the WFP, Conservative Party and Independence Party next?
Jonathan Van Meter - Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn, now Anthony Weiner … it looks like Van Meter is the long-form writer of the moment in New York politics. But while it’s nice to read about him eating Chinese food and schmoozing at fundraisers with Quinn, or assuming the role of Weiner’s therapist over burgers and escargot, there was a glaring omission from the articles: substance. Quinn largely got a pass in Van Meter’s glowing New York Magazine profile for her vague positions on key issues, and readers were left scratching their heads at how Weiner can afford a posh Park Avenue apartment since Van Meter apparently didn’t ask him what kind of work he’s been doing from his home office over the past two years. And for a “comeback” piece intended to thrust Weiner back into the discussion for mayor, it would have been nice to hear what makes Weiner think he’s qualified for the job and what his vision is for the city. Need a puff piece? Jonathan Van Meter’s your man.
Tags: Andrew Cuomo, Anthony Weiner, Cablevision, Capitol Pressroom, Charles Schumer, Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn, Dan Cantor, edward korman, Eric Schneiderman, Frank MacKay, Fred Dicker, Huma Abedin, James Dolan, jonathan van meter, Mike Long, NYC Is Not For Sale, Quinnipiac University, Sheldon Silver, Susan Arbetter, Time Warner