Weiner films ad while candidates hit trail
Anthony Weiner stayed home Saturday, making a campaign ad to try to steady his scandal-rocked mayoral campaign, while his rivals barnstormed the outer boroughs looking to pick off his disaffected would-be supporters.
A camera crew entered Weiner's apartment building on Manhattan's Park Avenue South at midmorning. They stayed until early evening.
"We shot a commercial," his spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, said Saturday night. "We are not pulling out of this race," she said in response to a question.
Weiner's timeout from public appearances provided a respite from unending news media questions about his admitted relapse into sexting cyber-affairs with three women after such behavior forced him to resign from Congress in June 2011. On Friday, he was upbraided by a former schoolteacher on Staten Island who told him he lacked the "moral authority" to be New York City's 109th mayor.
An NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll showed Weiner falling from the front of the pack to 9 percentage points behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio close behind.
The top two finishers in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary make the runoff if no candidate reaches 40 percent.
"De Blasio and Thompson are now vying for second place," Marist Poll director Lee Miringoff said Saturday. "Everybody benefits because he was doing well and now his numbers have tanked."
De Blasio agreed his own prospects looked brighter.
"Obviously the last few days have shown the polls changing," he said Saturday at a farmers market in Park Slope, Brooklyn. "And as people are re-examining their options we see a lot of support moving our way and we feel confident."
Darin Bessler, 40, of Park Slope, who works for a computer manufacturer, met de Blasio there.
"I really was pro-Weiner for a while, and I was willing to give him a second chance," Bessler said. "But the more the whole scandal plays out, the more we realize, we're lucky we found out all that before he got into office."
Thompson went to the Old Timers Day festival in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
"We still have a ways to go before the 10th," Thompson said. "I'm feeling pretty good."
Quinn dropped by a picnic for people with developmental disabilities at Cunningham Park in Bayside, Queens.
"Take a picture with her?" Ellen Weinstein, 50, of the Riverdale section of the Bronx, asked Quinn, gesturing to her daughter, picnic volunteer Ilana, 17, who was painting a child's face.
Weinstein said she may have been willing to consider Weiner, but not anymore.
"He lost my vote. I just don't trust him. How do I say it politely? It's embarrassing," she said.
As for Quinn, Weinstein said: "She's a role model for my daughter."
Despite his eroding support, Weiner has the cash to hang on and hope for a rebound -- more than $4.8 million in his mid-July campaign finance report.
"Even with the latest problems he's still competitive, but we'll see whether his numbers continue to drop or not," Miringoff said.