Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anthony Weiner Makes the Rounds of Pundits' Shows Hoping to Raise Profile for Mayoral Bid by Celeste Katz - NY Daily News

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Congressman Anthony Weiner has been making the early morning rounds in an effort to raise his profile before he makes a run for the mayor's office.

It's Anthony Weiner's world - we just watch TV in it.
Switching on a cable news station and wondering if you'll see the scrappy congressman these days is a little like wondering if there's going to be a "CSI" marathon on anytime soon.
Weiner appeared as a member of a pundits round table on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Coincidentally, he was on right after host David Gregory's sitdown with Mayor Bloomberg, whose office Weiner has made no secret of coveting.
He sat - fittingly - to Gregory's left.
In the battles over health care reform and tax cuts, Weiner has become the face (or more to the point, the raised voice) of the left wing of the Democratic Party. He's raising his national profile by taking on not only the GOP, but his own President for not being enough of a tough guy.
He's loud, he's angry and he's everywhere.
The question is, when 2013 rolls around, will it help him become mayor?
Back in 2005 when he ran, Weiner was the stickball-bat swinging, stoop-sitting champion of the outer boroughs. He impressed enough Dems with his rolled-up-shirt-sleeves style to get into a runoff with Freddy Ferrer - and then bowed out in the name of "party unity," essentially feeding Ferrer to the Bloomberg behemoth.
In 2009, Weiner surveyed the landscape again, saw the Bloomberg thresher rattling toward him, and decided - you know what? He still had a lot to get accomplished in Washington. (Bloomberg ended up beating Democratic city Controller Bill Thompson, but not by much.) A bit of a blemish on that "fighter" persona, but political realism at its clearest.
Weiner's national profile dwarfs them all - and it's hard to underplay that power when it comes to fund-raising - but the route he's using to make his name could be double-edged, warns Baruch College's Doug Muzzio.
"You've got to be prudent; you've got to be strategic. You can't just be the bomb-throwing lefty - you can't be seen as the haranguer," Muzzio says.
Weiner's "approaching the danger line. You don't want [your] visual image to be this guy who was screaming at you, red-faced, with his veins bulging. You don't want that video out there," he says.
But in a Democratic town like New York, a Democratic primary for high office is nothing so much as a struggle to explain to the voters what makes you different from your opponents.
Of course, it's early yet, but campaigns like these are years in the making. If - if - he decides to run again, Weiner may be banking that taking a tack further to the left than the one he employed in 2005 could be what sets him apart.
For his part, Weiner says he doesn't see himself as Anthony 2.0.
"I'm the same guy I've always been. I think the middle class and those trying to make it need a fighter. That's who I am."