Anthony Weiner, the congressman who resigned his New York seat in 2011 after he accidentally tweeted a photo of his underpants, unraveling a hidden life of sexual exploits, has returned to Twitter as he considers whether to run for mayor.
The Democrat tweeted a link Monday to a campaign-style plan that he has been touting, called "Keys to the City." The account is all new, using the handle @anthonyweiner, instead of the doomed @repweiner that led to his demise. It had more than 1,000 followers Monday afternoon, compared to his more than 67,000 from the previous account.
"It seemed like a fresh start was in order, especially in light of all the new ideas around which I am hoping to drive conversation and debate," Weiner told NBC 4 New York in an email.
Weiner, who still has more than $4 million in funds he raised for a potential citywide campaign before he quit Congress, has said he is considering whether to run for mayor this year.
An NBC 4 New York/Marist poll last week found that he would get 15 percent among registered Democrats, coming in second to front-runner Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker.
In a New York Times magazine story posted online earlier this month, Weiner said that what drove his inappropriate relationships online was "a world and a profession that had me wanting people's approval."
"By definition, when you are a politician, you want people to like you, you want people to respond to what you’re doing, you want to learn what they want to hear so you can say it to them," he said.
But then he'd be searching for that kind of feedback late at night online, and it would take a turn.
"So somewhere in there it got to a place where I was trying to engage people in nothing about being a politician," he said. "Or sometimes it would start out about politics and then, ‘You’re a great guy.’ ‘Oh, thanks, you’re great, too.’ ‘I think you’re handsome.’"
Weiner told the Times he thinks many people would be surprised to know the answer to the question: "what was he thinking?"
“I wasn’t really thinking. What does this mean that I’m doing this? Is this risky behavior? Is this smart behavior? To me, it was just another way to feed this notion that I want to be liked and admired.”
--Andrew Siff contributed to this story