It gets old. But his in public self-flagellation in advance of his run, Weiner has
opened up about his marriage and his own psychology to an extent nearly unheard
of in successful political candidates. The 8,000-word April New York Times magazine profile of Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin involved so much intimate confession that author Jonathan Van Meter wrote he felt like Weiner's analyst: "I startled myself that day when, after two hours of listening while he unburdened himself, I heard these words come out of my mouth: 'Maybe we should stop there for now.' Never has an interview felt so much like a therapy session."
Quinn, for her part, has been trying to cast aside her image as a tough-talking political animal who would blithely threaten of opponents, "I'm going to cut his balls off." In June, she appears in Vogue magazine along with a lengthy excerpt from her forthcoming book With Patience and Fortitude: A Memoir. The passage talks about the gay marriage fight in New York state from a very personal perspective, and how it ultimately led not just to statewide social change but her wedding to her partner Kim Catullo.
Pictured wearing extremely high nude patent leather heels and a blue dress -- Vogue is a fashion magazine, you're supposed to notice -- Quinn talks about wedding dress shopping, how she abandoned her first choice Vera Wang gown after discovering that Khloe Kardashian had worn the same style, and hating her upper arms.
New York magazine's verdict: "Endearing, relatable, or just plain crazy? Probably some combination of the three, but her candor is certainly charming."
Less prominent candidates have contributed to the TMI feel, as well. New Yorkers last December were treated to a round of revelations that Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's wife in the 1970s wrote a piece for Essence magazine entitled "I am a lesbian," which she was as a young woman. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Anyone wondering whether Weiner can mount a comeback need only consider the cultural context of the competition, and the city at large. New York, after all, is the metropolis that recently gave its police officers a stern talking to about not arresting topless women. Mayor Giuliani had an affair and filed for divorce while in office. Mayor Bloomberg, for his part, has gotten the city used to the idea of a mayor with a girlfriend rather than a wife.
Jill Lawrence argues in National Journal that Weiner will have trouble making a comeback in New York because the city, unlike Mark Sanford's district in South Carolina, lacks an evangelical population receptive to redemption narratives. Maybe. More likely Sanford succeeded in his comeback bid because he was more in tune politically with the conservative and traditionally Republican district he ran in -- and also a more experienced political candidate and debater than his opponent.