Former Congressman Anthony Weiner was almost preternaturally confident when he sat down for an hourlong interview with The Huffington Post a few weeks back.
He had been through the ringer of political scandal not once, but twice. And while the result dashed his dreams of running New York's City Hall, the unintended consequences -- in hindsight -- outweighed the disappointment.
"I got so many amazing blessings and I'm so lucky in so many ways," Weiner said. "And obviously, having a chance to learn from [my] 4-year-old [son] Jordan, is one of them."
It was clear that Weiner feels his political skills remain very much primed, even if overshadowed by his missteps. A small sampling:
- Asked if there was ever a point when he thought he could win the 2013 mayoral race, he said his pollster felt there was an opening, but he was "just too smart about this stuff" to see it.
- Pressed if he still had the influence to get things done, at least locally, he replied: "Yeah, the one thing about being Anthony Weiner is people take your calls. They all want to tell their wife when they get home, 'Guess who called me today?'"
- Reflecting on the Candidate Confessional podcast series in which he was participating, he offered: “I’m probably the best campaign politician you will ever interview."
All of which led to the question of whether Weiner, with his political antennae intact and his confidence still high, envisions a future in which he would hold elected office again. If, after all, he felt that he "would be a better elected official than a lot of these people," in Congress, why not, ya know, be one?
We asked Weiner that. He explained that he had no desire to return to the House. In fact, he didn't bother to hide his contempt for the institution. Looking downward, he said he'd rather eat the round wooden table in front of him "than go back to D.C."
But Weiner's tone was slightly softer on non-federal elected office. His skepticism about another campaign wasn't because it was something he no longer wanted. It was because he didn't think there ever would be circumstances that would allow him to succeed.
“I tested it in a circumstance that I could," he said of his campaign for mayor. "And I also don’t think you get a third bite at the apple. I think people will willingly let you take a second bite and try again. But I don’t know if a third really happens. And then the other thing is the jobs aren’t that good. With the exception of mayor, the jobs are just not that good.”
Listen to the podcast above, or download it on iTunes. And while you’re there, please subscribe to, rate and review our show. Make sure to tune in to next week’s episode, when our guest will be Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, on his run for the White House.
Christine Conetta produces Candidate Confessional.