30 July 2005

Meet the Candidate


I ran some errands on Broadway just now, and between Radio Shack and Staples, I was accosted by a young woman urging me to "meet Anthony Weiner!"

Weiner is a Congressman from Brooklyn, and former aide to Senator Chuck Shumer, whose district he took over when Shumer was elected to the Senate. Weiner is now running for the Democratic party nomination to run again Michael Bloomberg for mayor this fall.

I have actually considered voting for Weiner -- his politics are mostly good, and he's cute, if a little tight in the face, and even though I think Bloomberg is doing a decent job, I've never pulled the lever for a Republican before, and I'm not sure I can start now -- so when I saw his entourage across the street, I headed over.

I have always had a weird reaction to meeting anyone remotely famous. Once, when I lived in Washington DC, some work friends were going to a bookstore at lunch to meet Barry Williams, who had written a book about being Greg Brady on tv's "The Brady Bunch". It was just down the street, and a lot of people were going, so I tagged along. If you bought the book, you could wait in line for Barry to sign it. I bought the book, despite never having been a fan. As the line got closer to Barry, my friend Susie told me I looked nervous. Did I? I don't know why, but I was really excited. I thought of things to ask Barry/Greg to write in my book when I got up to the table, but by the time I did, I could barely tell him my name. He signed the book, "To Ellen, Stay Groovy," and I went back to work, embarrassed to have been exposed as star struck.

While I crossed the street to meet Weiner, I thought about what I would say. "Why do you want to be mayor," seemed safe enough. Inoffensive, but when you think about it, kind of tricky. He could give me a rehearsed answer, and he probably would, about how he cares about this city, and how if we give him the chance, he'll prove just how much he cares, but maybe he'd dig a little deeper and say something meaningful.

"Why do you want to be mayor, why do you want to be mayor," I rehearsed silently as I got closer. Weiner seemed to be just shaking hands as he passed people, without really stopping. A classic politician's maneuver to keep moving and shake as many hands as possible. I walked up to him, held out my hand, and when he said "I'm Anthony Weiner," I managed to reply "I'm Ellen" before my brain went soft.

He asked if I wanted a pamphlet. I said I'd take a sticker, because I was "actually thinking of voting for him." He said "this is the flashy visceral stuff," as he handed me an oversized postcard with pictures of himself and quotes from news articles about how great he is. I noticed he was wearing make-up before he moved around me and kept walking.

I didn't ask him my question, and I'm sure I didn't make any impression on him. He made one on me, though. The first thing I read on the card was this: "I'll fight for the middle class and those trying to make it. No one will work harder for you than I."

Oh, Anthony. Get yourself a good copy editor.

5 Comments:

Blogger Stuntmother said...

Make up? Outside in the afternoon? I hate politicians.

I recognize this is not a well thought out reaction, or even a positive contribution to debate, but boy, I hate politicians. Shake hands? WHY? Kiss babies? WHY? Run for mayor? WHY WHY WHY?

I do like Greg Brady, although not as much as Peter Brady. Peter Brady was dreamy.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Pedestrian Rage said...

Tony Weiner is soooo cute. That is one Weiner I wouldn't mind meeting, maybe touching if the vibe were right and we were all in the mood.

11:27 PM  
Blogger PG said...

Sounds suspicously like our Tony Blair, including the make-up. Be afraid...;)

4:03 AM  
Blogger Broom said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous jackie said...

Weiner thinks that the anti-smoking laws are unfair and wants to overturn some of them, like smoking in bars. So he's definitely NOT getting my vote.

1:16 PM  

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