Former Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday that he will announce a decision on his New York City mayoral bid within days, but wants to make sure he has a "path to victory" for an improbable comeback try.
"It's going to have to be soon," Weiner told reporters outside his Park Avenue South home apartment building in Manhattan. He would have to start circulating petitions for a Democratic primary ballot spot next month.
Weiner, 48, was forced to resign from Congress in June 2011 after he posted a lewd photo of himself on Twitter and subsequently lied about it, claiming his account on the social media site had been hacked. The Democrat, who is married with a young son, also admitted to inappropriate exchanges of texts and photos with six women.
"People have a right to be skeptical," Weiner said, "and hopefully if I run, they'll get a chance to judge me based on the issues."
Weiner would not address a report on the website Politico that he had hired a campaign manager, Danny Kedem, a political operative who worked on Democrat Mark Murphy's failed campaign to win Rep. Michael Grimm's Staten Island seat.
Weiner's campaign war chest of $4.2 million tops that of any Democratic contender except for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has $5.8 million, according to finance disclosure reports filed with the city Wednesday.
Marist Poll director Lee Miringoff said Weiner needs to refocus his message on what he can do for the city, rather than what a mayoral seat can do for him, if he is to win votes. "He needs to provide a rationale for his candidacy," Miringoff said.
Baruch College public policy professor Douglas Muzzio said Weiner may have the finances to win, but "time is short, and the available pool of top-tier talent is gone, too."
Weiner bantered with reporters and passersby in a series of exchanges near his apartment through the day.
As Weiner walked to the subway stop, Troy Allen, 48, an unemployed construction worker from Brownsville, Brooklyn, yelled, "Weiner for mayor!"
"Thanks, buddy!" Weiner shouted back.
Approached afterward and asked about his shouted endorsement, Allen said: "Would I vote for him? That's a tough one. I mean, people make mistakes, man. That was stupid, dumb what he did."
But could he support Weiner? "If he can do a better job than some of these other guys, I guess I would."
A Marist Poll last month showed Weiner running second among Democrats, with 15 percent to Quinn's 26 percent.
Quinn will "run a forward-looking campaign of ideas, backed up by an actual record" of work for the middle class, regardless of who enters the race, spokesman Michael Morey said in a statement.