Ending weeks of speculation about his political plans, former Rep. Anthony Weiner has announced his entry into the crowded race for mayor of New York in a video posted to YouTube.
The announcement comes almost two years after he resigned from Congress when it was revealed that he had exchanged lewd messages and photographs with several women over the Internet.
The video, a two-minute campaign commercial that appeared online around midnight Tuesday, shows Weiner in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up as he talks into the camera about his political views.
"Look, I made some big mistakes, and I know I let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons," he says about two-thirds of the way through. "I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you."
The video opens with a shot of Weiner him in his Park Avenue South home with his wife and young son, Jordan. It ends with his wife, Huma Abedin, by the new candidate's side.
Abedin says, "We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony."
The image of family togetherness is an important one for Weiner, as he tries to move beyond the scandal that ended his career in Congress.
Also, while Weiner left Forest Hills for a luxury apartment in Gramercy, he is still trying to cast himself as a champion of the middle class and small businesses.
"The very people who put everything into this city are getting priced right out of it. But it doesn't have to be that way," Weiner says in the video.
The video may be carefully crafted, but its rollout was not. News of Weiner's announcement came hours before his campaign officially spread the word and his campaign website has only a small mention of the big news that he is a candidate for Mayor.
New Yorkers are not exactly rolling out the welcome mat. According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, taken before Weiner's announcement, nearly half of city voters say Weiner should not run for mayor.
For now, Weiner seems eager to let his campaign video do the talking. He did not make any public appearances Wednesday, but his press secretary did deliver pizzas to the reporters and photographers gathered outside his building.
Weiner, who represented the 9th Congressional District for 12 years, faces a crowded field of fellow Democrats that includes City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller John Liu, former comptroller Bill Thompson, former City Councilman Sal Albanese and Pastor Erick Delgado.