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Editorial: Anthony Weiner fiddles while city issues burn

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner Credit: Anthony Weiner (Getty Images)

Anthony Weiner is right about one thing: It's time for us to stop analyzing his personal problems and start making some hard judgments on who's best qualified to lead one of the most complicated cities on Earth. About six weeks before one of the most important elections in city history, all of New Yorkdom is fixated on the former congressman's sex life.

Enough already.

We're not saying the character of this major Democratic mayoral candidate is irrelevant.

It's plenty relevant, and it's troubling that Weiner was still sounding -- simultaneously -- dodgy and repentant Wednesday in an email to supporters.

He says he's sorry he wasn't clearer about the timeline for his raunchy virtual conversations with young women. But, he adds, the matter is history, so let's move on.

Actually, Weiner was still sexting when he was giving strategic "comeback" interviews to media outlets that strongly implied he'd conquered his demons. The timeline of events exposes him as a liar and a fraud -- which is something voters might want to bear in mind when they head to the polls in just 47 days.

But beyond that? New Yorkers urgently need to focus on issues that don't have a lascivious Anthony Weiner angle attached. For example:

What's going to happen with the New York City public school system? Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made huge inroads in the system's ability to educate a student body of 1.1 million. The powerful United Federation of Teachers is waiting in the wings to weaken mayoral control. So which candidates will fight this? Which ones won't?

What's going to happen with the city's public housing stock? About 404,000 New Yorkers live in public housing -- and most of them have stories of serious maintenance lapses. Who's going to fix things? Who seems clueless?

The city faces a miasma of crucial issues ranging from taxi regulation to a Brooklyn hospital rescue -- yet we can't seem to take our eyes off Weiner.

Time to stop the music and close the sideshow.