What does Anthony Weiner's future hold? The disgraced ex-congressman's bid for redemption ended in humiliating failure on Tuesday, after he finished a distant fifth in the Democratic primary for New York's mayoral race. And of all the questions leveled at him by the press, the one that finally provoked him to raise his middle finger was, "What's your plan for tomorrow?"
Weiner still had no real answer to that question when The New York Times caught up with him the following day. "[He] said he had not decided on a next step," reported Michael M. Grynbaum, adding that his first order of business was to "catch up on Breaking Bad and take in a Mets game."
But now that Weiner has wiped the flop sweat of Tuesday night from his brow, perhaps it's time to give his future a little more thought. Here's what he could do next:
1. Go on cable TV
In his pre-sexting days, Weiner was an enthusiastic talking head on MSNBC, and many point out that he possesses both a big enough ego and a big enough mouth to fit right in with cable TV's roster of political bloviators. It's one job that "actually embraces the egomaniacal side of humanity," media analyst Andrew Kirell told The Washington Times:
Weiner has consistently shown that he can act without regard for other people's feelings; he is unafraid to confront his opponents; he has strong opinions about seemingly everything; he's good at yelling; and he has name recognition that he would love to continue riding… What does that all sound like? A cable host. [The Washington Times]
2. Return to politics
Some have speculated that Weiner's quixotic bid for mayor was actually a form of "political bloodletting," an attempt to wring the scandal dry and set him up for a humbler return down the line. "When he does something for the future, it will be fair of him to say 'asked and answered,'" said Bill Brandt in The Hill. "I'm pretty certain he'll find his equilibrium and move forward from there…there are a lot of offices where he can offer phenomenal service."
Weiner did, after all, convince 31,800 people to vote for him, tarred name and all. But the experience of fellow disgraced ex-politician Eliot Spitzer suggests that might be a tough ask. Even five years removed from scandal, Spitzer was unable to win the race for the relatively lowly position of city comptroller.
3. Divorce his wife
Huma Abedin's absence from Weiner's latter campaign events — as well as Weiner's conspicuous failure to thank her by name in his concession speech — has prompted suspicion that their three-year marriage may be on the rocks. Abedin, a close adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stayed loyal to Weiner when his sexting scandal resurfaced in June, but has since kept an extremely low profile. Any divorce will likely be a quiet affair carried out far from the tabloids, speculated Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage Magazine:
Huma Abedin will want a graceful disengagement… [Her] friends will quietly leak a trial separation to some classier source, like New York Magazine. Then there will be a nearly off the record divorce in the hopes of not ending up on the cover of People or one of its trashier clones… And then there will be another spread, this time on Huma balancing her career and role as a single mom, while helping Hillary go for the 2016 gold. [FrontPage Magazine]
4. Dance with the stars
It's unlikely Weiner will ever be able to completely escape the scandal that has so badly wrecked his career — so perhaps the best thing for him to do now is embrace the infamy it has brought him. And there's one place that has offered sanctuary to fallen political stars from Tom DeLay to Sarah Palin:
Kicked out of the NYC mayor's race, Anthony Weiner can now go seek redemption the old fashioned way, on reality TV.
— Suzy Welch (@SuzyWelch) September 11, 2013