Politics

Anthony Weiner On The Year Ahead: “I Hope We Keep The Band Together”

After a year of scandal, the former mayoral candidate ponders his next move. “Who knows, maybe I have a third book of ideas in me!”

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In a post on his Facebook page, Anthony Weiner reflected on a calamitous 2013 (“It certainly didn’t go as I had hoped”) and promised supporters he’d keep them updated on plans for the year ahead (“a better 2014”).

“What’s next?” Weiner wrote on Thursday afternoon. “I’ll keep you posted on my plans. But I hope we keep the band together.”

Weiner, the ex-congressman whose comeback campaign for mayor of New York City was plagued by another wave of personal scandal, praised his former staff, thanked volunteers, reiterated his support for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, and took a passing shot at the “tea party wackadoo wing” of the Republican Party.

The Facebook update — Weiner’s first public posting since the primary in September — also joked about the former candidate’s political future.

“Who knows, maybe I have a third book of ideas in me!” Weiner wrote. His campaign published two policy booklets during the primary: “Keys to the City” and “Even More Keys to the City.”

Weiner is reportedly pursuing a career as a radio host but did not allude to those plans Thursday. “I pray for a sweet, healthy and productive year for you,” he said. “And thank you for your kindness in the year past.”

Of the past year, Weiner simply wrote, “It certainly didn’t go as I had hoped.”

The full Facebook post reads as follows:

What’s Next? First, Let Me Say Thanks

There is a fundamental optimism that is wired into the DNA of America and its true capital - New York City. We are a place that people come to improve their condition. And once here we are unified by a common aspiration - to leave our kids a place better than the one we found. In the ideological battleground that seeks to define what it is to be American, perhaps we can lay down arms and say that our most shared quality is optimism. After all, nobody picks up their lives and crosses the sea unless they are hopeful about the future. Nearly all of our families did that.

So in spite of the challenges that we face in our families and in our communities, I look forward to a better 2014.

I do want to take stock a bit of 2013. It certainly didn’t go as I had hoped. I continue to be deeply sorry that my personal mistakes undermined an amazing campaign that included too many amazing staffers to mention and hundreds of volunteers and many of you who kept active from afar with ideas, contributions and encouraging notes. (Even the snarky comments of our opponents weren’t entirely humorless). Huma and I were buoyed by the kind wishes of countless friends and total strangers. And I must admit, it’s easy to get cheered up when you are watching a little boy sprout before your eyes. Did I mention Jordan turned 2 this week?

What’s next? I’ll keep you posted on my plans. But I hope we keep the band together. You have been an amazing resource and the network we have all become part of has helped lead the debate on national health care, the need for a smarter and more compassionate approach to the growing pockets of need in our nation, and we all have sought to make the argument that too often we progressives come to knife fights carrying library books. Although my Republican friends have to decide what to do with the tea party wackadoo wing of their party, it does not constitute a strategy to simply sit back and watch them immolate. Our team has to be a font of ideas and debate. I tried to run my campaign on this theme and the response was amazing. (Who knows, maybe I have a third book of ideas in me!)

As we support Mayor de Blasio in New York and push the seemingly immovable Congress on issues like immigration reform, aid to the hungry and our aspiration for universal health care that makes things better for America’s children, not just America’s health insurance companies, let’s remember the admonition of Jim Hightower, who frequently said, “there’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos”. This year lets fight to make this the country we want it to be and one that lives up to our common ideals about progress.

I pray for a sweet, healthy and productive year for you. And thank you for your kindness in the year past.

Anthony

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Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact this reporter at ruby.cramer@buzzfeed.com
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