“People don’t change,” said Mitchell Moss, a New York University professor and former Mike Bloomberg campaign adviser. “I never really go for the apology tour, the listening tour, all this. Just [the fact of Weiner] being involved in debates is validating his persona. The mere fact that he is on the stage with other mayoral candidates [means] he’s back in the game.”…

After dispensing with his initial round of mea culpas, he has flashed bravado, snappishness with reporters, and plain delight in the media tracking his every utterance (even counting the number of still cameras and New York Post reporters following him around).

In an interview late Wednesday after another mayoral candidate forum, Weiner brushed aside what he clearly considered armchair psychology — “you kind of are [putting me on the therapist’s couch],” he said — but added that he is very much the same person, and voters should want that.

“I will leave it to you to analyze the old versus the new, but to me my views on these things haven’t changed,” he said, referring to the bread-and-butter issues he’s been discussing the past week. “I don’t care about them any less, that’s why I got into the race … I would think a much worse critique would be if somebody appeared, if I appeared, to be a different person than the one I was. This is who I am.”