Anthony Weiner says he didn't know if he'd get the chance to talk to New Yorkers about the issues that mattered in their lives during the Q&A at Bayside Batting and Pitching, Queens.
Anthony Weiner sat down with Daily News columnist Denis Hamill for a free-ranging one-on-one interview on Monday. Here are some excerpts of that conversation.
Q. So what kind of summer have you been having?
A. Wild. To some degree it's been exactly what I expected. To some degree, it's been the most surreal experience of my life. The great unknown when I got into the race was whether I'd ever get the chance to talk to the citizens about the issues. I knew what the guys who write the wood (front page headlines) would want to talk about. What the late night comics would want to talk about. And I launched this campaign on a gamble that I'd get to talk to the citizens about what they wanted to talk about. And the stuff I wanted to do as mayor. What immediately became clear, immediately, was that there was a disconnect. Citizens care about their own lives. They want to talk about what will make their lives better. They were not interested in all the other stuff in my personal life.
Note the first word is "wild" yet "wild" was, to some degree, expected. Notice that "to some degree" is repeated. "The" great unknown, is singular. Note that "the issues" do not include honesty, fidelity, trustworthiness, going back to the same principle:
Can one ask strangers to trust him, when those closest to him cannot trust him?
Note any word repeated as sensitive. Note the word "talk" but also note here, and for future answers, the word "stuff" as nondescript.
Note that he believes that "citizens" care only about their own lives, not his.
Q. You were making traction, discussing issues, ahead in the polls - until the second sexting wave hit.
A. Yeah, but even that wasn't such a surprise in retrospect. As inartfully as I did it, I told anyone who would listen that there might be another issue coming up from my past. People wrote headline stories about more to come. He doesn't know how many there are. I knew it would happen but I didn't want to lead a conversation about that. That was a mistake. I handled that part of my announcement wrong.
note that it wasn't "such" a surprise but this was only in retrospect, indicating that he was caught in surprise when the new sexting came out. For readers unfamiliar, he had made a confession of his sexting activities when he resigned. Statement Analysis showed missing information and minimization. After his resignation, he sought "treatment" of sorts, and after the treatment, he resumed his illicit activity and still ran for office. His words indicate that he did not expect the new sexting partners to reveal his infidelity, as he considered them "friends" (see below) *
Q. The second wave of sexting headlines has affected you in the polls. How has it affected you at home, your marriage?
A. It's hard, because remember that what's at the foundation of all this is something that I did to my wife. So it's very hard to have it come back no matter how much we might have expected it. It’s hard to be reminded how much dishonor I brought upon not just myself but especially my wife.
HIs answer is fascinating, especially if you follow the pronouns. He resigned, did a minor mea culpa, treatment, announced himself fresh and clean, and immediately demanded that voters trust him, while returning to his deviant ways. Yet, he uses the pronouns "we" and not "I", regarding expectation.
The interviewer wants more information about this, perhaps not understanding why the pronoun "we" bothered him, and seeks detail:
Q. Does it come up at the dinner table, at breakfast, in private moments with Huma?
A. You must remember this isn't something that happened yesterday. For us, this is an issue that's over a year old. And we'd gotten to this really great place with each other and we'd put it behind us to a place where we felt comfortable enough to move ahead to run for mayor. For us, this was a distant event. That doesn't change the fact that it's very hard to have it come up again.
Note that he begins with the imperative: "you must remember" and not "I must" nor his "wife must remember", which is very important. What is so important? That "this" (close, and not "that") did not (in the negative) happen yesterday (the day before the interview). How long ago did this happen?
He then says that "this is an issue" (this) "that's over a year old"
Next note hyperbole ("great" place) which is qualified with "really" making it especially sensitive. Astute readers will now wonder if his career is over, will there be a divorce following.
If you follow the pronouns, he clearly states that he and his wife are running for mayor, not he, himself. He is acutely aware that he cannot make it without the woman he has repeatedly publicly humiliated; a woman who sits on various boards making an incredible amount of money. He is without a job.
Q. To see this woman (Sydney Leathers) you were sexting with get her 15 minutes in public must have hurt Huma, no?
A. Well, we look at less of that stuff than you might imagine. It's not as if we sit around leafing through the tabloids. But we don't have to. The level of venom directed at Huma has been so misdirected and unfair. Look if someone thinks I did something wrong, and a lot of people do, and I'm one of them, then I think it's perfectly reasonable to say I will never vote for that bum again. But to somehow make this something that Huma did is just not fair.
Follow the pronouns!
"Well" is a pause meaning the question itself is sensitive.
Note that he tells us what "we" do not do, making it sensitive, adding in body posture (sitting), showing tension. This is likely something that has been done: leafing through the tabloids, even as he reports what was not done, in specific language ("Leafing"): since they do not "leaf" through them, we can expect that they do so on lap tops or iPads, but they do it.
Notice how he changes the topic, however, from what he did, to Huma. The level of venom is towards him, running for office ,and not her, yet he takes the scope off of himself and puts it on her:
"venom directed at Huma"
Note that he now says he only "thinks" he did something wrong. This means that he may "think" otherwise and that others can "think" otherwise. It is very weak and is consistent with the analysis of his original confession. The Greek word for "confess" means to "say the same" or "agree" (homologeo), meaning that a true confession comes clean and tells the truth. He did not. Hear we see the clever politician attempting to 'defend' his wife. Huma has not been accused of doing the sexting.
Q. What's your reaction to Christine Quinn who is now the front runner saying on “Meet the Press” that you should get out of the race?
A) Let the record show I laughed at that. I would happily compare my political record to her record. I hope the irony isn't lost on people that one of my opponents voted to overturn term limits so Mike Bloomberg could have a third term would say that. This is after the voters voted twice in separate referendums to pass term limits.
Note he reports his reaction to it when it happened, but not now. He would (future, conditional) compare his "political" record to hers record.
Q. Do you think there is a double standard for you?
A. Nah, I don't have a beef about the standard. Look I conscientiously try to lead those 200 reporters who follow me around to see some of the issues they need to see. In the midst of this entire craziness I want to let them meet a group of women in Corona who have come out against violence. Let them see a guy in Tottenville, Staten Island whose house was wrecked in Sandy who got $150 from an insurance company. I understand that people that are following the other part of my campaign are just doing their jobs. But they are not going to decide who wins this election. They accuse me of turning this campaign into a media circus, but it is the media that dwells on this aspect of my personal life and then accuses me of making a circus. Cover the real issues I address every day and there will be no circus.
Note that "double standard" became "standard" in his language. It is the expected for him.
For him, it is not the people ("citizens") who have the "need" to see, but the 200 reporters specifically. This is to show his goal.
Note that females are a "group of women": this is interesting as we watch what he calls the women (females) that he sexted with below.
Q. How do you react to stories like the one about Huma's relationship with the Clintons being affected by your campaign?
A. I don't pay much attention to outsiders who want to say what this campaign should be about. There are going to be maelstroms, controversies, and crises when I'm mayor. That doesn't mean I'm going to curl up in a corner and not go out that day. I'm going to lead. If you want to run this town you have to be prepared to have people say tough things about you.
1. The negative "I don't"
2. "much" attention, not "attention"
3. "outsiders" are those who want to say the campaign is about trust. Insiders do not say this.
He assumes he will be major, but does he believe it? Note the use of the word "that" which shows distancing language.
Q. The Daily News reported on Sunday that you spent campaign cash on hiring a private investigator and a lawyer to look into the hacking of your Twitter and email account when you knew there was no hacker. That it was you who'd sent the sexual tests. Care to respond?
A. It was after. I told the reporter it was wrong that I'd done it after.
Note that he does not say it was wrong, but reports only that he told the reporter it was wrong. Please consider this in light of what he thinks is important for reporters who follow him to know, and not what citizens need to know. This is a very self serving statement, as are most of his responses.
Q. After what?
A. After I'd left Congress. After I had admitted I had sent the texts. We needed to hire lawyers. We needed to hire other professionals to gather up information. Remember the House speaker had initiated an Ethics Committee investigation. We needed to secure all our hard drives and everything else. So that story is wrong. Well, 85% of it was after I left Congress anyway.
Does he take responsibility for the illicit use of money? Answer: Follow the pronouns. "We needed to hire..." and not "I needed..." Please note that "lawyers" are not "private investigators"
He continues to accept responsibility and he continues to spread around guilt with "we"
One might question if Anthony Wiener has the ability to tell the truth at all. He avoids the private investigator and money question and uses "other professionals"...imagine what one trained in Analytical Interviewing would have done in this interview!
Q. You didn't hire a private investigator to see who'd hacked your account?
A. No, the lawyers hired the investigator.
Note his answer in correlation to the word "we"
Do readers think the lawyers did this without his consent, or without knowledge that he had been sending the sexual texts on his own?
Q. Most so-called experts think you can't rebound from this latest round of sexting headlines. Do you?
A. I do.
A. Because I have a sense I'm different than the other people running. I'm running a different type of campaign. I believe at that end of the day New Yorkers want to make this decision for themselves. They are more interested in ideas that affect their lives than my private life.
I think most people would agree that he is certainly different than the others running.
Q. There is no one you are sexting now?
A. You can quibble about beginnings, middles and ends but what we're talking about is over a year ago.
Please note that he did not answer the question about current sexting. This means that the question is sensitive to him. We have a saying in SCAN:
If the subject has not answered the question, he has answered the question. *
Q. Is Huma going to continue campaigning for you?
A. Yes, I think so. You guys in the press kept asking "When is Huma gonna come out to campaign?" Then she did and gave a statement in a press conference. Then she had to go out of town on business and you ask when she's coming back. Look, Huma is committed to the campaign and she's been an enormous asset to it and I am sure she will continue to be.
Note that Huma may stop campaigning for him as his weak assertion shows.
Q. Before we started the interview, you received a call from Huma. Do you two talk a lot during the day?
Quite the softball question, yet let's listen to his answer:
A.All the time. We're married. We have a baby together. She's in Washington DC today and was concerned because the baby hasn't been eating properly. Something called a coxsackie infection of the throat. We talk about that. I'm running for mayor. She calls to ask how that's going. We talk all the time.
Note the need to say "we're married" is a very strong linguistic indicator of potential divorce. Note "a baby" and "the baby"
ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Weiner isn't interested in talking about his campaign manager's resignation.
Q. Can you give me a blow by blow about what happened with your campaign manager resigning?
A. No, I'm not interested in talking about that. We're not talking much about hiring people. We have an amazing staff of people. My campaign manager did a great job and I wish him well.
Q. Can you tell me who might be the new guy or woman?
A. We're not announcing staff right now.
Q. Have you talked to anyone about it?
A. No. We have an amazing crew of people.
We view every word after "no" as important. Do you believe that he has NOT talked about it?
Q. Are you gonna do it yourself?
A. No, I have too much stuff going on in my life right now. Listen, the voters don't give a s-t how my campaign is organized. Who the campaign manager is. Leave that for Politico.com.
Q. Did you think the second shoe dropping would cause so much uproar?
A. I knew it would be bad. It's too easy this stuff. The puns. The jokes. The institutional frustration that I was doing well in the race. Look at the tenor of the editorials before this second wave. Shaking the voters by the lapels and saying "Why are you voting for this Weiner guy?" They couldn't understand that my message was reaching people. So now that they have something on which to hang their righteousness. I guess I'm not surprised. I've been in this business too long not to know it would be bad. It's not like some outside force did this to me. I did this to myself. This is my private life that is now public. Sometimes that happens when you're in public life. Voters know more about me than they know about any of the candidates. If the press wants to continue to talk about this stuff it will make it harder for me. But if I wanted it to be easy I wouldn't be running for mayor.
ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Weiner admits that he isn't sleeping well, but says he views the challenges he has faced as tests.
Q. How much of this is fake outrage? Sex and politics is nothing new. Isn't it a little like the scene in Casablanca where the corrupt official is "Shocked, shocked," that there is gambling in Rick's?
A. I'll leave that to others to decide. I did these things. I did them to my wife. We have put them behind us. People have a lot of ways to judge my life. Thousands of votes in Congress. Sixty four ideas in my keys to the city book. This stuff. But I can tell you this: No other candidate in this race is getting tested like this. But I'm still talking about important issues no matter how difficult it is to get them out. I'm fighting for the middle class every day. Having 200 cameras around me in a senior center is not going to stop me from saying what I have to say. People can see how I can deal with pressure as mayor. I'm under pressure now and I'm gonna show them that I handle it head on.
Q. You look rested. Do you sleep well at night?
A. Not great. You learn to turn off your Google alert at night. I'm doing okay. You guys are tough. Look, this is hard. And I'd much rather that all this didn't happen but I'm doing my best to treat it as a test. I think in an odd way, this is a great test for the kind of mayor I will be. I will not quit on my stool. Just as I will answer the bell of every round as mayor for the middle class in this city.
Q. What about this idea that your campaign might hurt Hillary Clinton's political future because of her relationship with Huma?
A. Those people chattering about bank-shot implications of my campaign don't matter to me. And I bet most citizens when they get up in the morning and feed their daughter breakfast, send her off to a failing local public school, and go off to a job site where he's now a part-time worker so the boss doesn't have to give him benefits, and he comes home and the neighborhood shopping isn't what it used to be...I don't think that guy, when he tunes into politics for five minutes he or she can spare a day, I don't think he cares about my private life. I think he's saying which of these guys is gonna fight for me. So I don't think this other stuff really matters that much. I'm betting the house that it doesn't.
Q. Take this opportunity to answer that teacher in Staten Island who asked you how you could have the moral authority to lead as mayor.
A. Yeah, I don't want to be a mayor who sees it as his job to poke into the private lives of people who work for the City of New York. I want to know that someone is going to do a good job. I want someone who when he sets out to fix potholes, he's doing it. I want someone who figures out why a catch basin is overflowing in south east Queens. And when a cop is out pounding a beat in a tough precinct he's doing it to the best of his ability. You can say that I don't like what Weiner did in his private life. If you think that's important to your calculation for mayor then don't vote for me. I get that.
Q. What's the biggest issue out there on the trail?
A. The inability to buy a starter house for 50 grand like my parents did. Affordable rentals. Good jobs with benefits. In the communities of color the abuse of stop and frisk is an enormous issue. But it's rare that people come up to me and say they want to talk to me about a scandal in my personal life.
*Note it is "a" scandal. His refusal to answer the question above has likely led readers, as it did with the interviewer, to believe that Wiener is still sexting. Is he still sexting?
We do not have to wait long to find out:
Q. Is there yet another woman's shoe about to drop in this campaign?
A. I have no idea. These are people who I thought were friends, people I trusted when I communicated with them. But who knows what they might do now. But none of it is new. It's all old stuff. So I'll be in this race for at least the next 44 days. And I think I can win.
It is very difficult to believe anyone who says that they have no idea. Note that he calls the women "people" (note specific question) and he considered them friends, but no longer. Here he gives the reason for him staying in the race (see blue): because these are "old" and he calls them "stuff" Note avoidance of original question and minimization.