By The Hill Editors - 07/29/13 11:50 PM EDT
Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has many faults, but he sure knows how to get attention.
The New York City mayoral candidate and former congressman is currently at the center of the political world, and Democrats and — perhaps less convincingly — Republicans don’t want him there. Both sides are calling on him to quit the race.
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama, on Sunday called Weiner “delusional” and said he “should go away.”
On Monday, Weiner pushed back at this suggestion, retailed by reporters who were also armed with new poll numbers showing his public support being routed.
“I’m going to keep talking about the things important to this city. I don’t really care if a lot of pundits or politicians are offended by that,” he said.
Most years before the August congressional recess, there is plenty of action on Capitol Hill as a big bill is pending. But not this year. That’s at least part of the reason why Weiner has commanded so much attention — he’s the only show, and we use that word advisedly, in town.
The Senate has passed an immigration bill, but the House has no plans to follow suit until the fall. The parties are expected to joust on various matters in September and October, including the federal debt limit and a possible government shutdown, but until then, the spotlight will be directed elsewhere.
It will be on Weiner and, to a lesser extent, former Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), the embattled San Diego mayor who has refused to step down in the wake of numerous sexual harassment allegations.
There are suggestions that the Weiner scandal will hamper Hillary Clinton’s presumed 2016 presidential bid because Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, used to work for her. Such a chain of damage seems unlikely. Weiner is clearly capable of derailing his own ambitions, but he is not significant enough to derail those of Clinton.
His primary is on Sept. 10, and there could be a runoff on Oct. 1 if no candidate gets 40 percent of the vote. The finish line won’t be reached quick enough for Democrats.