Calling for him to drop out of the race is futile for establishment Democrats. Weiner has his own money, so he doesn’t need the party endorsement. In fact, many people win without their party offering support at the primary stage of the game.
What would Anthony Weiner do if he dropped out of this race? He is not going to get an appointment with the Obama administration. He would most likely not work on a possible Hillary Clinton presedential campaign.
Maybe he could get a teaching gig at Columbia University as a visiting professor, but even that seems out of reach. He has to stay in this race because, well, why not?
Some people are surprised by the support that he gets on the campaign trail. Weiner is very similar to Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky on the Republican side of the aisle in the U.S. Senate. The analogy is awkward, but when partisan voters see a person “standing up” to the other party, they see their guy.
Personal scandals and even odd policy stances are not as important as someone who shouts back, and Anthony Weiner shouts back. He still has support, although I would argue that a lot of it might be stuck in Queens.
Anthony Weiner gets applause because he gives certain people a sense that he has their backs, even if a lot of it is rhetoric. He is the guy that got Youtube to ban those videos produced by terrorists. Important policy? Not really, but he shouted back on that, and people in the outer boroughs eat that stuff up.
Anthony Weiner is still not out of the woods in this campaign. Bill Thompson is the opposite of Weiner; he does not shout back, not often anyway. Thompson does not draw fire-and-brimstone support, but that is his biggest strength. He brings a sense of adulthood to a very important race.
Thompson is a good closer in that he gets the votes when they count. Remember how far behind he was against Mike Bloomberg in 2009? He almost won on Election Day.
Here are two candidates, one under the radar and one well above it. This column has focused a lot on Bill Thompson in the last few months, and for good reason. I still think he is the hidden favorite to be the next mayor of New York City. If the election were held today, many in the Democratic Party would get behind him, even if they do it quietly.
Lew Simon’s HOV Lane
Southeast Queens City Council candidate Lew Simon wants to bring an HOV lane to the busy Cross Bay Blvd/Woodhaven Blvd. artery that runs from the Rockaways up to Queens Blvd.
He says that such a lane, open to vehicles of three passengers or more, would be a way to cut down on traffic. This idea does, however, assume that people can travel with others. In other words, people with the same work schedules could definitely take advantage of such a lane. The question is whether there are enough three-passenger groups to make it feasible.
Any idea that aims to reduce traffic is worth looking at. Analysts would have to see how successful this has been wherever it has been tried. I do not see a lot of people utilizing an HOV lane on that stretch, but commuters in lower Queens may react differently.