Scenes from the Anthony Weiner show
Anthony Weiner began his first day on the campaign trail this morning by greeting voters on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, talking to commuters on the No. 2 express train heading downtown, and then interacting with reporters and people on the street as he walked the several blocks to the WNYC offices on Varick Street for an interview with Brian Lehrer.
The whole time, Weiner was at the center of a rolling maul of television cameramen, newspaper photographers and reporters, most of whom seemed to be live-tweeting the events. Occasionally, a voter slipped through the cracks and shook Weiner's hand. (One man who did so identified himself as a producer for Lawrence O'Donnell's show on MSNBC.) Police had to help manage the scene uptown.
Photographers ran across Lenox Avenue as soon as they spotted Weiner, in a blue shirt and orange tie (the colors of his campaign, and the New York Mets) and no jacket.
Why 125th Street and Lenox Avenue?
Weiner said, "This is a place I feel very connected to. On the day after the primary in 2005—this is where I stood the next day. So this is the last campaign stop that I did the last time I went for mayor, and it's the first one I'm doing this year."
He balked at making any judgment on how Christine Quinn, the leading Democratic candidate for mayor, has performed as City Council Speaker.
He told one train passenger that Hillary Clinton would be "an amazing president." At one point, he simply apologized to everyone on the train with him, referring, without saying it, to the media horde he'd visited on them during their morning commute.
One woman on the train said loudly that Weiner needed to get off the internet and stop texting. Weiner responded by joking that he had nearly completed his whole train ride without hearing that kind of advice.
Later, he took a seat between a tall white man who said he was from Oklahoma and two black women.
When Weiner said he was getting off the train, the Oklahoma man said, "We'll miss you," and one of the women said she would, too.
He emerged by 14th Street, said to one of his aides it may have been a mistake to walk since it looked like it might rain. They walked anyway. Weiner bumped into John Feinblatt, a senior adviser to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The two men shook hands and quickly parted.
A man with a camera mounted on the handlebars of his bicycle lifted up the bike in order to film Weiner walking.
Along the way, Weiner fielded even more questions from reporters.
Asked about Jim Margolis, a top-shelf ad man who helped produce Weiner's campaign kick-off video, Weiner said he was a friend but would have no formal role on the campaign.
Asked about his campaign team's lack of mayoral campaign experience, Weiner noted that he had in the past employed inexperienced aides who are now proven commodities, citing a current spokesman for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Glen Caplin) and a a state senator (Daniel Squadron).
Asked whether there were any times in the last two years he missed being in Congress, Weiner said there were two: after Hurricane Sandy damaged the neighborhoods he used to represent in Brooklyn, and when there was "an outrageous attack on my wife by members of Congress" including Rep. Michelle Bachmann.
Finally, just after 9 a.m., it was over.
"This is my stop," Weiner said to the reporters surrounding him on the sidewalk outside WNYC's offices on Varick Street. "This room that's in there is kind of small. Uh, so, we're going to have to say, 'Till we meet again.'"
Here are more photos from today.