First impressions do count.
My editor instructed me in the spring of 1991 to go to the front desk of our Sheepshead Bay office and retrieve some campaign literature from a City Council hopeful named Anthony Weiner.
I approached the lanky aspirant, noticing from afar his air of cockiness and the gleam in his eye, which he swiftly swapped for a surly squint upon realizing that the editor had not dispatched a welcome committee but a subordinate to collect the sheaf of papers stuffed importantly under his armpit.
Candidate Weiner was visibly miffed at my unceremonious arrival and wanted to know why he couldn’t meet with the editor.
I informed him that the editor was in a meeting and that he had sent me to pick up the materials.
“Well, make sure he gets them, doll,” he wisecracked.
I told Anthony Weiner that it was improper to call a female worker “doll,” and that he needn’t fret over his papers, they would be promptly delivered to the editor.
Back in the editorial office I remember thinking that if His Bumptiousness was elected, we would have another gasbag in town for a lawmaker.
Our brief encounter left me with an indelible impression of the man who would become a councilman and later a congressman, only to be soiled by yet another ha’penny sex scandal — and “Groingate” is about as ha’penny as sex scandals get.
By now, we are all-too familiar with the eye-jarring crotch shot sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a Seattle college student — a loaded situation he claims was cooked up by cyber pranksters crusading to do the dirty on him.
The deflated pol is doing a great job of that all by himself: Weiner cannot confirm that the photograph of a man in his underpants with an erection was not of him, at least not “with certitude.” Plus, he has barred the FBI or Capitol Hill cops from delving into the incident — a civil right you would think he would jump at to nab the alleged boneheads.
Then there’s his attempt to self-massage: “Maybe it did start being a photo of mine and now looks something different or maybe it is from another account,” he explained flaccidly with the authority of a grown man who has yet to inspect his own nether regions — a topic of intense self-scrutiny for most males on the planet.
More boggling follows: Weiner has hired a private security firm to look into the “mischief,” which is burgeoning before our eyes into yet another graceless topple for a public servant gagged by his own hubris, and entangled in his own destructive web of double-talk.
Now comes the really incriminating part: Weiner, a notorious hot-head who once called state Sen. Carl Kruger (D–Sheepshead Bay) a bad word for a woman’s privates for backing late actor Paul Newman’s proposal to bring Grand Prix-style racing to Brooklyn, is keeping his temper in check at a time when he should be brandishing it about like a hose in a hothouse.
That’s a far cry from the plain-tawking Weiner who thundered at Kruger during a 2006 Mill Basin benefit, “Do you have a [expletive] problem with me?” Now, when he actually should have a definite [expletive] problem, the hotdog is reluctant to rise to the occasion — or give a command performance. Tsk.