Political observers are anticipating clashes between the two brash, ambitious Democrats that could snowball into a longer-term power struggle for control of the city. Already, Spitzer is emerging as a nuisance for Weiner. Spitzer’s last-minute campaign announcement already has sucked up free press attention from Weiner, and his decision raised fresh questions about disgraced politicians’ overall suitability for office. If elected, Spitzer could use his role to be a mayoral watchdog while potentially looking to run for the office on his own — possibly against Weiner.

“The way Eliot Spitzer is describing his approach to comptroller, there will inevitably be friction. I don’t care who the mayor is,” said Democratic consultant Maureen Connelly, who has advised mayoral candidates from Ed Koch to Michael Bloomberg. “You would think he’s running for mayor himself. He’s the sheriff,” she added, alluding to his nickname as a Wall Street-policing attorney general…

Spitzer’s abrupt entry into the race is widely viewed as a setback for Weiner. After catching up in the polls to the longtime frontrunner, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Weiner has been trying to turn the page on his past, touting a 64-point plan “to keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class.”

What’s potentially bad for Weiner is probably good news for Quinn, who stands out as the only woman in the mayoral race.