It’s still too early for Chuck Schumer to talk about Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner and Chuck Schumer. (Photo by Azi Paybarah.)
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Last month, after a long New York Times Magazine feature announced Anthony Weiner's interest in returning to politics, Chuck Schumer said it was "much, much too early to talk about that."

This morning, after Weiner officially announced his candidacy for mayor, a spokesman for Schumer said the senior senator doesn't yet have any comment on the news.

Weiner didn't mention Schumer in his video this morning, but then, he probably didn't need to.

Weiner parlayed his years as a young aide to Schumer (who called him "Weiner Beaner") into his own political career, running on the strength of his Schumer connections to eventually represent Schumer's old district in Congress.

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Along the way, he cast himself as a mini-Schumer, crafting a similar profile as an outerborough, Jewish fighter for the middle class, and proving he was capable of attracting Schumer-esque levels of media attention.

But, in recent years, the two weren't quite as close, or quite as similar, as they were often portrayed in the media. 

Weiner never scored the same kind of legislative victories as Schumer, who still speaks proudly of helping pass the Brady Bill and Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, and used his legislative record as a springboard to the Senate in 1998.

The Wall Street Journal noted earlier this month that only one bill had passed with Weiner as the lead sponsor.

I asked Weiner about the comparisons to Schumer's legislative record back in 2011.

"One, I would stipulate to the idea that I was in the minority for most of my career where Chuck Schumer was in the majority for most of his career," he said. "I would also say Chuck Schumer is a legislative dynamo and if people say I was half of Chuck, that’s still way better than most people.

"I also think it’s not fair," he added, saying one could be a loud voice for certain causes and still accomplish things legislatively.

In his video, Weiner does mention his work putting more police on the streets, and his work on the 9/11 health care bill. (His impact on that bill is up for discussion.)

Schumer has always had nice things to say about Weiner in public, even during the texting scandal that damaged their relationship.

Schumer didn't publicly call for Weiner's resignation at the time, and he put out a solicitous statement after Weiner finally resigned.

But that's a very different thing from providing public affirmation for his return, and it seems that if Schumer is inclined to help at all, it will be along the same non-public terms as Weiner's other friends.