The fallout from a lewd photo sent over Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account could thwart his political aspirations, particularly an expected 2013 mayoral bid, observers said Wednesday.
The extent of the damage, however, depends on how it plays out, they noted.
“This is the longest car wreck I’ve ever seen. This really could tarnish him unless he starts handling it better,” warned GOP consultant Lynn Krogh. “Otherwise I don’t see how you run for mayor and convince donors to give you money.”
The married six-term Democratic Congressman has amassed a $4.8 million campaign war chest, surpassing other potential mayoral candidates.
Anticipating a tight race, it’s unlikely Weiner, 46, can withstand a lingering photo flap, said GOP consultant Jim McLaughlin.
“His biggest problem running in the Democratic primary is that he’d be a non-African American and non-Hispanic trying to win,” McLaughlin said.
Still, Democratic strategist Joseph Mercurio said Weiner would be a strong challenger to former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only person so far to declare a run.
Thompson narrowly lost in 2009 against Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Weiner skipped the race – and backed Thompson.
Political consultant Basil Smikle said New Yorkers can be forgiving about scandals, and this situation hasn’t reached the level of married former Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned from his Western New York district in February after he was caught sending shirtless photos of himself to women on Craigslist.