Aug 5, 2013
07:12 AM
Connecticut Politics

Anthony Weiner's Ex-Campaign Manager, Danny Kedem, Held Same Post in New Haven

Anthony Weiner's Ex-Campaign Manager, Danny Kedem, Held Same Post in New Haven

Courtesy of the City of New Haven Website

Before Danny Kedem abandoned his post running one of the most fascinating, highly scrutinized and outright bizarre mayoral campaigns in recent memory, he journeyed around the country working for Democratic candidates, including New Haven mayor John DeStefano. 

Kedem resigned late last month as the campaign manager for Anthony Weiner, the former congressman who launched an unlikely bid for New York City's mayoralty two years after he resigned from Congress amid a humiliating sexting scandal. 

Kedem had presided over an improbable surge in Weiner's popularity that had left the candidate leading a crowded Democratic primary field in recent polls, but  quit the campaign after Weiner acknowledged his tawdry sexual behavior had continued even after he had resigned from Congress.

When Kedem was first hired, media outlets referred to him as an unknown.

“To oversee his campaign, Mr. Weiner is turning to a relatively untested 30-year-old strategist who has never before managed a race for citywide office in New York, according to a person familiar with his plans,” read a May 15 story in The New York Times. 

Kedem’s LinkedIn profile shows he’s worked on several different campaigns in varying positions—such as organizing for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill’s U.S. Senate campaign and Hillary Clinton's 2008 run for the presidency.  

But two years ago, Kedem held his first role as campaign manager, in what ended up being DeStefano's last re-election bid. Kedem has worked on two campaigns since then for a few months at a time. 

He worked very much behind the scenes in New Haven as DeStefano, serving his eighteenth year as mayor, geared up against budget watchdog Jeffrey Kerekes. DeStefano won a record 10th term with 55 percent of the vote, to Kerekes’ 45 percent.

The longest-serving mayor in the city’s history announced over the winter, just as opposition was mounting, that he would not seek another term. He will instead take a new post as the executive vice president of the Start Community Bank.

Politicker quoted an anonymous source  who reported being “shocked” Kedem would join the Weiner camp.

“He does have a lot of energy and a sense of humor and likes adventure," the source said. "Still, this is a huge undertaking and it could blow up in his face. This will be the most high-profile race Kedem has ever done. And he knows all the challenges that come with Weiner as a mayoral candidate.”

Those he worked with on the campaign were reluctant to speak about what it might take for Kedem to outright quit a campaign. An op-ed written by a former Weiner campaign intern, Oliva Nuzzi, said Kedem left after more lewd texts sent by Weiner were revealed with a timeline different than what Kedem had been told.

How are staffers viewed after quitting campaigns? There are pluses and minuses to sticking around despite tough times, internal disagreements and ethical dilemmas. Politico examined the question and found an array of viewpoints from current and former aids to politicians. 

A former press secretary under President Bill Clinton who had to deal with his own political scandal, Mike McCurry told Politico there are two ways to look at it.

 “Caught in a tough predicament as a staff person, it’s best to remember, ‘This ain’t about you,’” McCurry told Politico. “Your job is to represent your principal as best and professionally as you can, just like a lawyer would. Even a president in a tight spot personally deserves professional help on the legal and public relations front.”

But he also added, “On the personal side, the rule is ‘to thine own self be true,’” McCurry said. “So don’t represent what you cannot stomach.”


Anthony Weiner's Ex-Campaign Manager, Danny Kedem, Held Same Post in New Haven

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