Weiner Goes Down Swinging; Flips Bird to Reporter Leaving Concession Speech
"Sadly, I was an imperfect messenger," Anthony Weiner (D-NY) noted tonight in his long-awaited concession speech, perhaps the only honest thing he has ever said:
Anthony Weiner conceded defeat in the race for New York City mayor Tuesday night.
As poll results came in showing the former congressman in distant fifth place, Weiner took to the stage at Connolly's Pub in Midtown and put an end to a once-promising campaign.
"Now, sadly, we did not win this time," he said. "But I could not be more proud of the campaign we ran."
"There's no doubt about it," he added. "We have the best ideas. Sadly, I was an imperfect messenger."
Weiner, who resigned from Congress in 2011 amid a sexting scandal, joined the Democratic mayoral primary earlier this summer. He quickly climbed in the polls, even briefly gaining frontrunner status.
Weiner's remarked provided an unintentional retrospective of some of his most notorious campaign gaffes. In a reference to that time she called an intern a "slutbag," Weiner praised spokeswoman Barbara Morgan for "mastering new levels in salty language." He punctuated an inside joke about the West Indian Day parade with dancehall-style gunshot sounds – "bo, bo, bo" – but wisely skipped the accent. For the penis pun fans, he declared, "we didn't just do the easy stuff, we did the hard stuff."
Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin was nowhere to be seen tonight; the Daily Beast reports that "Conspicuously, Weiner did not mention his wife, Huma Abedin, in his thank-you speech, nor did she appear at his side during the speech." John Podhoretz noted on Twitter that this does not bode well for the couple's future, or the lack thereof:
Anthony Weiner to deliver concession speech. If Huma's not there, divorce imminent.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) September 11, 2013
As befits New York's reigning Master of Disaster, both Weiner's coming and going from his concession speech were equally spectacular. Business Insider.com notes that Weiner "Sprinted Through A McDonald's So The Press Wouldn't See Him Talk To Sydney Leathers":
Sydney Leathers, a Las Vegas woman with whom he carried on a sexting relationship, crashed his "victory party." Before Weiner showed up to address supporters at Connolly's Pub in Midtown, Leathers was hanging out on the sidewalk, waiting to berate him in front of assembled press. His campaign desperately wanted to make sure there wasn't a confrontation in front of cameras.
Weiner is resourceful, and he had a plan. There's a McDonald's next to the bar, with a back door leading to a stairway into the bar's rear entrance. So Weiner got into his own victory party by sprinting through a McDonalds with the press and Leathers chasing behind him.
And leaving his concession speech, Weiner was caught on video flipping the bird to a New York reporter as he drove away from his flaccid election night performance:
Photo: Anthony Weiner flips off reporter after delivering concession speech pic.twitter.com/Ui1xVAToY5 (@kateroseme)
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) September 11, 2013
Also tonight, New York affiliate ABC-7 is reporting that former Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Eliot Spitzer conceded as well:
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer won the Democratic primary for comptroller Tuesday night, ending disgraced ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer's surprise bid to reclaim his political career.
Stringer had a 52-percent-to-48-percent lead over Spitzer in incomplete and unofficial returns, with 92 percent of precincts reporting.
Spitzer called Stringer to concede, according to Spitzer spokeswoman Lis Smith.
Thus, the stage is set for the long anticipated Weiner-Spitzer 2016 presidential bid. Campaign merchandise is available in the lobby of the bordello.
(Artwork created based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)
Update: Auto-play video of Wiener's concession speech after the page break.