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Anthony Weiner's long game for Gracie

According to former aides and colleagues, Anthony Weiner was either a doggedly hard worker with an aptitude for complex issues, or simply all talk.

Anthony Weiner on May 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images Anthony Weiner on May 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images

Anthony Weiner's brash, outspoken performance as a Congressman was largely a show to garner attention for an anticipated mayoral bid, some former colleaguestold the New York Times.

While some aides reportedly spoke of the former representative with admiration, recounting his quick grasp of complex material and an apparently inspirational office catchphrase —"We don't wait" — former colleagues expressed disappointment with his approach to lawmaking.

Former Representative Zachary Space (D-Ohio) reportedly said Weiner's "unwillingness to be team player did compromise his ability to be an effective congressman."

"I don't care if you're a congressman, or president, or mayor or a city councilman," Space told the Times, "you can't do it yourself."

To hear former aides tell it, Weiner was an energetic, almost manic boss with a single goal at the end of the day: get back to New York and stump.

The Times says his aides always knew what time the last votes would be held on any given day because he was anxious to rush back to attend public events in New York.

He reportedly even had his aides call air-traffic control to get his plane bumped up in the departure order.

Other Democratic lawmakers reportedly told the Times that Weiner often refused to show up at less-public campaign events to help colleagues raise funds from donors.

However, some recalled major accomplishments by the former congressman as recently as last year.

A month before Hurricane Sandy he reportedly got the Army Corps of Engineers to repair beach erosion in Brooklyn that was causing flooding on Belt Parkway. Councilman Lew Fidler told the Times the Parkway could have been washed away if not for those repairs.

But of the 50 bills he introduced in the 2007-8 sessions, he failed to get a co-sponsor for 39 of them, and according to a former senior aide, "he just never tried."

"The point was to be able to say he introduced a bill," the aide said.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
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