Matt Lewis

Anthony Weiner, conservative favorite for New York?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

Settling for the lesser of two evils, some prominent conservatives in New York City are quietly rooting for Anthony Weiner to win the mayoral race. That’s because, despite his reputation as a fire-breathing liberal, Weiner is viewed as a safer alternative to Christine Quinn.

He’s “a mainstream liberal Democrat — a political animal,” explains one prominent Pro-Life activist who works for a religious non-profit in New York. “It’s always easier to deal with someone like that than with the ideologue.”

The ideologue, of course, is Christine Quinn, the Speaker of the New York City Council. “She’s not just a politician of convenience. She really believes this stuff,” the source says. “Would you prefer Claudius or Nero?”

Social conservatives see Quinn as a “true-believer” — an activist who will push her worldview. And prominent conservatives I spoke with cited Edith Windsor’s (whose case prompted the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act) recent endorsement of Quinn as an example of her liberal agenda.

But Weiner doesn’t just look good in comparison to Quinn. Regarding yesterday’s news that Eliot Spitzer is attempting a comeback bid for comptroller, the same prominent Pro-Lifer reminded me: “Whereas Weiner’s scandal was a sex scandal, Eliot’s was a sex scandal — but it had a lot of public corruption attached to it.”

Indeed, Spitzer may be hoping that Mark Sanford’s election — coupled with Anthony Weiner’s candidacy — will mean he’s conflated with — or, at least, lumped-in with — them. But, in fact, Spitzer’s scandals involved other inappropriate activities, including the inappropriate use of the State Police (“Troopergate.”)

In any event, the interesting thing here is that whether it’s Christine Quinn or Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner is viewed as the lesser of two evils.

It’s not too late to book him for next year’s CPAC.