Thomas Roberts   |  July 24, 2013

Can Weiner still win NYC mayor’s race?

The Root’s Keli Goff, Think Progress’ Judd Legum and MSNBC.com’s Suzy Khimm discuss Anthony Weiner’s political prospects now that he’s admitted to sending sexually explicit pictures and messages to a woman as recently as last summer.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> anthony weiner says he is going to stay in the new york city mayoral race despite new explicit online messages being brought to life. weiner admitted yesterday sending sexual charged pictures and messages to a woman last summer online. he admitted to tweeting out nude pictures to other women apologizing profusely. this time, though, his wife was at his side when he addressed the latest scandal yesterday insisting she has forgiven him and he is still the best person to become new york city 's next mayor. that is today's taung for our agen -- topic for our panel. good to see all of you. let me start with you, jed. were you at all surprised by this and do you think that people's willingness to forgive only goes so far?

>> i can't say that i was surprised. we kind of already knew that anthony weiner seems to be stuck in aol chat room circa 1993 and i think it's going to be the question is, you know, is this the mayor that people of new york want and they are going to get an opportunity to weigh in. but, you know, it's interesting what -- the fascination with the story too and the way for us and other people watching this story feel about themselves that really --

>> what --

>> people's interests in who would be the best mayor.

>> what do you mean by that?

>> i think there is something about gawking at this story and allowing yourself to think well, i may have lots of problems in my own life, but at least i'm not doing the creepy things that anthony weiner is doing. and i think it's just interesting. you look at the attention page of this story versus the governor of virginia who just essentially admit he improperly accepted over $150,000 in gifts and loans and gave it all back yesterday and we are not as interested because i think it doesn't speak directly to our own selves as 67.

>> you're saying what a lot of folks have been saying about our society, sex sells .

>> that is very true.

>> susie, mika brzezinski saying today on "today" show if weiner wins it's because of his wife. let's listen. okay. we don't have that sound bite but i can paraphrase. if he succeed it will be because she lifted him out of political sewer. and put him up, dusted him off and put him next to the shelf against another egotistical politicians. there are a lot of people who are saying, you know, not only is she standing by her man, she is speaking up for him. but this is not unprecedented in modern politics.

>> no, it isn't. i mean, the issue with huma and the hope, i guess, from the weiner campaign, is that she gives her husband some degree of credibility. not just because she is a faithful wife and standing by him. she knows him and asking folks to trust him but because of her own professional career. she is an extreme accomplished person on her own right and trusted adviser to hillary clinton and she knows substance and she knows issues. in that way, i think, there is the hope she will elevate the campaign. the problem is, you know, the essential problem with this scandal and the new revelations is that it kind of reveals the fact there is really not much else to talk about in terms of anthony weiner . this was always going to be the story but the hope was it was going to be a comeback story. now that we don't have that, what else are we going to talk about? it's not like anthony weiner has a long list of legislative accomplishments or a designed vision for the city so there is always this story. it's a question of which version of it is it going to be the version that anthony weiner wants, the comeback story, or this version of a guy who seems increasingly not to be trusted and who, i think, voters are going to wonder, you know, whether they it's going to be a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance they have to give him.

>> kelly, you got a different take on this and you have this up on "the washington post " blog. entitled "the not so good wife." you say in part right now, it looks like huma is putting her family's political ambition ahead of the city's needs and perhaps her own. what do you think she has an obligation to do here?

>> well, i have to say i'm a huge huma abedin fan and my former post said the wrong weiner is running for mayor. i think in terms of accomplishments and likability and she is miles ahead of her husband. that being said, the only way i can sort of compare this to is if you look at lindsay lohan and when her life became a total train wreck a lot of people said where is her family and why are they pushing her to work when she that be pushing her into rehab or getting her life together and that is where we are kind of at with anthony weiner . his life is a big old train wreck and people closest are saying the smartest and best thing for him to do is become mayor of the biggest city in the world.

>> is it just political ambition or more at work here?

>> let me say this. i don't think the argument could be made at this particular tiat point that he is mot qualified of most appropriate, the only candidate in the race who could do as good of a job as anthony weiner . that case has not been made and will not be made. no one is running who is a convicted felon and can't read. these are reasonably qualified candidates. we should be talking about the fact no affordable housing in new york and yet spending the time talking about dumb and dumber and i'm referring to mr. weiner and his buddy mr. spitzer and the only benefit running the comedians. look who is benefiting from both staying in these races are the comedians and "tthe "new york post."

>> here is what spitzer had to say this morning.

>> i'm running my own campaign and have been since the day i got into this so i have no comment about that oether than i'm talking to the voters what i have done.

>> do you think people might be taking a second look at other politicians like eliot spitzer who are trying to regain the public's trust?

>> yeah. i think it's certainly problematic for spitzer because it creates a certain mentality that he has been trying to avoid. on the other hand, i think if you look at new york city politics and to have the tabloids like the "new york post" which put a couple of innocent people on the cover of their paper and essentially accused them of being the boston bombers incorrectly being the ash tators of what is indecent conduct is a little bit hard to swallow. for spitzer in particular he is getting caught up in this.

>> big thanks to all of you. you can find more from our panel on our website tv.msnbc.com. follow the link to thomas roberts .