Anthony Weiner got a celebrity-style reception at Sunday’s Puerto Rican day parade – but only after a lesson in the challenges of running for mayor with an infant at home.
Weiner scrapped his first two campaign events of the day, two breakfasts, because his 17-month-old son Jordan was sick. “He has an ear infection and he just wanted to be held so I just couldn’t make it,” Weiner said.
It’s not the only time child rearing has caused complications on the campaign trail for Weiner – he explained he was late to a recent mayoral forum because the baby had put peanut butter on their pet cat’s back.
He was back on the trail in time for the parade, where spectators chanted his name, stopped him for pictures, hugged him, and borrowed the megaphone he carried to shout “Viva Puerto Rico.”
He flashed the irreverent humor that his sexting scandal hasn’t caused him to tone down, joking as he put sunscreen on his nose that cameras would get “a good shot of me lubing up.” Last week, he joked about whether a woman in the audience at a Brooklyn forum was flirting with him.
He hammed it up along the parade route and spectators loved it – an enthusiastic in contrast to the Celebrate Israel parade last week where Weiner, the only Jewish candidate in the race, was booed and heckled by many people along the route.
Upon seeing Weiner, a man on a parade float yelled into the microphone, “You got the best name ever! Everybody loves a Weiner! There goes our next mayor. You could run for president with a name like that.”
Jerry Rivera, 53, a barber from Inwood, yelled out “You the man!” and when Weiner lent him the megaphone, used it to say “He’s the next mayor of New York City!”
“He made a mistake. You know how many mistakes I made in my life?” he said. “He’s a good man. He knows his job. So his vices – we all got vices, screw that. He’s the next mayor of New York City as far as I’m concerned.”
The day on the campaign trail rounded out with a mayoral forum in Queens hosted by Make the Road New York.
The candidates tried out their Spanish skills with the immigrant-heavy crowds, with Weiner, Controller John Liu, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio experimenting with giving parts of their answers in Spanish – falling short of fluency but sounding smoother than Mayor Bloomberg, whose repetition of his announcements in Spanish has famously drawn parodies.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, for her part, stuck mostly to “buenas tardes” and “muchas gracias.”
Asked about stop and frisk, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said it was an area of “profound differences” between the candidates, taking swipes at Quinn for planning to keep Ray Kelly as police commissioner and ex-Controller Bill Thompson for changing his position on a bill pending in the City Council to create an NYPD inspector general.
Weiner, who opposes the IG bill and a measure to allow people to sue for racial profiling, said it was not new laws that were needed to stem the abuse of stop and frisk but a new mayor. “In my administration if the police commissioner allows that to happen…you are a bad police commissioner and you’ve got to go,” he said.
Liu stressed he is the only candidate who wants to abolish the tactic altogether. “We don’t need to adjust it, we need to end stop and frisk.”
To view the original article, click here.