Queens is the borough of second chances, where people flock from around the world to start their lives over. But what about native sons — or near-natives from Brooklyn — who promise their constituents they have mended their ways only to squander the shot they were given at public redemption?
Anthony Weiner, who served in Congress for 11 years, represented a large chunk of Queens and developed a loyal following among some older voters, who were dismayed that he resigned in the midst of a sexting scandal two years ago. Some of the same demographic supported him when he launched his improbable run for mayor as a reform candidate on the all-too-personal front.
But it turns out Weiner lied to the public and has not mastered his carnal cyberspace cravings, leaving his candidacy in flames and duping his remaining backers yet again.
Weiner talked a good game in Queens on middle-class issues. He was the point man to explain Obamacare to the masses and the local media. But down in Washington, he managed to pass only one minor bill during his tenure.
His overreaching bid to be mayor is the act of a man trying to recover both professionally and privately from an appalling lapse. The timing could not be worse. The city is also recovering from the lingering effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
We have had two strong mayors in City Hall for the past 20 years, whether we agreed with them or not, and now voters are facing a critical choice about electing a new leader in an uncertain era. Other top posts and many City Council seats also must be filled due to term limits.
Weiner is an embarrassing distraction in what should be a serious debate about what direction the city must take over the next four years. After the latest revelations that he continued to sext after resigning, his public appearance in Flushing this week turned into a media circus and the message was lost.
Queens and the rest of the city deserve better. Philandering politicians are nothing new, but Weiner has been remarkably brazen about pursuing his bid while ignoring the best interests of the city and the middle class he claims he wants to serve.
There are no third acts, Anthony. It’s time to move on.