Anthony Weiner Hits Comeback Trail in Mayor's Race — With Scant Jewish Backing

Donors and Pols Shun Disgraced Lawmaker — So Far

Comeback Kid: A new poll shows Anthony Weiner has a chance of grabbing a good share of the Jewish vote in New York’s mayoral primary. So why are so few big-name donors lining up behind him?
getty images
Comeback Kid: A new poll shows Anthony Weiner has a chance of grabbing a good share of the Jewish vote in New York’s mayoral primary. So why are so few big-name donors lining up behind him?

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published June 03, 2013, issue of June 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

New York’s mayoral race finally has a Jewish candidate, but he’s not getting much organized Jewish support

Anthony Weiner’s much hyped announcement that he would run in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor was greeted with a collective shrug by Jewish activists and donors across New York City.

That’s in part because the Jewish power players are already committed to Weiner’s rivals. On the Upper West Side, liberal Jewish donors back Christine Quinn, the City Council president. Bill Thompson, who came surprisingly close to beating Michael Bloomberg in 2009, has support from Brooklyn’s Orthodox and Upper East Side influencers. Some liberal Jews are getting behind Bill de Blasio, who is running on a progressive ticket.

“Whether the Jewish community embraces Anthony’s mayoral candidacy depends less on the default setting of whether the candidate is Jewish, and more on a sincere evaluation of his positions and viability,” said Michael Tobman, a New York City-based political consultant.

READ: Weiner Gets Mixed Reaction at Celebrate Israel Parade

While Weiner may be short of big-name Jewish backers, it’s too early to count him out among rank-and-file Jewish voters. A Marist Poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of Weiner’s announcement that he would run in the primary found that Jewish Democrats preferred him to his rivals.

Amid the relatively small sample of roughly 70 Jewish Democrats, 23% reported that they preferred Weiner. Quinn trailed closely at 17%, followed by de Blasio at 16%. Those potentially heartening results for Weiner were tempered by a question showing that 44% of Jews had an unfavorable impression of Weiner compared with 40% who had a favorable impression — a far worse result than for any other candidate.

That poll was taken during a week of wall-to-wall Weiner coverage. Still, it could signify an opening for Weiner, as some Jewish voters have expressed a willingness to forgive him for the sexting scandal that drove him from Congress.

“We all, in our lives, we all have bumps in the road,” said Yelena Makhnin, a prominent member of the Brighton Beach Russian Jewish community. “We have some obstacles, and we have some problems. But to me, what is important [is] how you deal with it.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.