Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shake It Up: Anthony Weiner, the Upcoming and the Talking Dog

As a follow up to his interview with former US Congressman Anthony Weiner, NY1's political anchor Errol Louis wrote an op-ed in the NY Daily News regarding the once and possible future political candidate's prospects in the upcoming mayoral election.

While the focus remains certainly on Mr. Weiner's "truthiness"  (as Stephen Colbert might put it) in light of his fall from the political heavens, and whether he can regain the trust of New Yorkers in general and the NY Media in particular, there is no doubting that, even from the margins, Mr. Weiner would be a formidible candidate. His fiery and intensive debating style,exhibited many times on the floor of the House of Representatives, and even more so, his ability to generate creative and interesting ideas in his policy statement, suggest that even his preliminary appearance on the fringes of the hustings could have the capacity to throw the campaign wide open.

As Mr. Louis, himself one of NYC's most engaging and thoughtful political journalists and analysts, observes in his op-ed:
   "Meanwhile, Republicans inclined to gloat about the prospect of Weiner throwing the Democratic primary into
     chaos should be careful what they wish for.

    "None of them has developed the kind of policy proposals — some quixotic, others intriguing — that Weiner
      released in his 64-point “Keys to the City” paper this week.

    "Weiner’s call for stepped-up ferry service to Rockaway, Sheepshead Bay, Riverdale and Harlem is an idea that
       should have been tried long ago in our city of islands. His call to build new federally subsidized senior
       housing on hospital parking lots seems sensible. And his idea of making food stamps carry double the value
       when spent on fresh fruits and vegetables takes New York toward better health using an incentive rather than
       a punitive tax."

Clearly, what's missing from the current soft serve of Democratic and GOP Mayoral Candidates-in-a-Blender are some New Ideas and policy prescriptions that might just suggest a direction in which the post-Bloomberg NYC might move, rather than just the brewing political street fight, (mindful of the mashup of "Network" and "The Gangs of New York" in Will Ferrell and the battling news presenters in "Anchorman")..

Ironically, while it is no doubt Mr. Weiner's dramatic personal foibles and peccadilloes, compounded by his admittedly disgraceful (if perhaps adolescent) dishonesty after the fact, that would make him the easier target in this race, it could be this NYC-native's sharp intelligence and creative, fresh and interesting ideas that would throw up the mirror to the other candidates own lacks and weaknesses. In the long run, as 538's Nate Silver indicated, 100% name recognition and 15% ballot support "is an ugly poll..not an encouraging one." And, while the NBC/Marist poll gave him comparable numbers to the other candidates, maybe, like the talking dog, it is not how well the dog talks, but that, at this late point, he talks at all, and as well as the other candidates who have unbesmirched records and have been in the race all along.

Read more from Mr. Louis' article here  

Mr. Weiner's "64 Keys to the City" here  

-Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

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