Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal, hasn't attempted a comeback on the campaign trail. Nevertheless, he has returned to public life as a commentator, with shows on CNN, Current TV and now NY1.
On Tuesday, Spitzer wouldn't speculate on NY1 whether a 2013 campaign would be a smart move for Weiner, calling it "a personal decision." The Democratic former governor said it might be too early for a re-entry into politics, adding that Weiner above all needs to demonstrate that he's grown and learned from his mistakes.
"The public will grant him some slack if he shows that there's some maturity," Spitzer said.
Political analyst Lawrence Levy, executive dean of Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies, believes a run for lesser office — like New York City public advocate — would be a good place for Weiner to start if he plans a return to politics.
"I think anybody can come back these days, short of committing major felonies," Levy said.
What remains to be seen is whether the city's voters will be so forgiving.
A Marist poll conducted six weeks after Weiner's resignation, the most recent survey to include the former congressman, found that only 26 percent of registered voters wanted to see him run for mayor. Sixty-four percent of respondents said he should sit the race out.
"It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to run New York City, and if he runs he'll certainly prove he's got a ton of it," said Richard Laman, 59, as he was taking a break outside his midtown Manhattan office. Laman said he would consider voting for Weiner next year.
Asked if Weiner was politically dead, Laman added: "Not in New York. No one's ever politically dead in New York."
Associated Press Writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.
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