But nearly everyone who cares about Weiner says that pugilistic political persona long ago bled into his personal life and made him “hard to take,” as his brother Jason puts it. “I wouldn’t stand for other people saying this about him, but there was definitely a douchiness about him that I just don’t really see anymore.” His family agrees that the post-scandal Weiner, the diaper-changing Weiner, is far more likable. “No one has been harder on him than he has been on himself,” Jason says. “I find that refreshing, because he was always — in his political career, and it was sort of overflowing into his personal life — this completely decisive, ‘this is the right thing because this is what I’m doing.’ It’s like this circular reasoning that was kind of hubristic. He doesn’t have that anymore. The irony is that it could make him a better politician.”…
I asked about the political ambitions of the new Weiner.
“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” he said. “It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something. I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is . . . am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”
He took a giant bite of his cheeseburger.
“Also, I want to ask people to give me a second chance. I do want to have that conversation with people whom I let down and with people who put their faith in me and who wanted to support me. I think to some degree I do want to say to them, ‘Give me another chance.’ ”
How would he ultimately decide whether to run?
He pondered the question for an uncomfortably long time. “I don’t know,” he said. “It won’t be something as pedestrian as ‘Do I think I’ll win?’ It will be something more like ‘Does it feel like I should be involved in this debate? Someone should be out there saying A, B or C.’ ”