Feature

The Weiner scandal, Part 2

Anthony Weiner acknowledged that he had continued to send sexually explicit messages online after resigning from Congress in disgrace.

Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor of New York City was on the verge of imploding this week, after the Democrat acknowledged that he had continued to send sexually explicit messages online for months after resigning from Congress in disgrace. A 23-year-old woman claimed that Weiner had exchanged messages with her between July and November 2012, more than a year after he resigned over lewd photos sent to women online. Weiner used the pseudonym “Carlos Danger” in his exchanges with the woman, sending her graphic sexual messages and pictures of his genitals and inviting her to meet for sex. Weiner did not deny the new claims but said, “This behavior is behind me.” His wife, Huma Abedin, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, appeared at his side to say she had forgiven him.

Weiner must drop out of the race, said The New York Times in an editorial. When this “tawdry saga” began in 2011, the congressman accused his enemies of smearing him before he owned up. Now, we learn his sexual peccadilloes continued even as he gave interviews claiming to be a changed man and prepared to seek redemption via public office. This “familiar but repellent pattern of misleading and evasion” thoroughly disqualifies him from leading the city.

“Why should we care?” said Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon.com. Weiner is no puritan moralist; his hypocrisy is a “deeply personal one.” His extramarital sexting is a matter for him and Abedin, and doesn’t reflect on his suitability as mayor. It proves only that he’s an egocentric risk-taker—“but are these not also qualities that might make him a good politician?”

This is far more than a little personal problem, said Michelle Cottle in TheDailyBeast.com. Weiner kept exposing himself online after he’d “vaporized” his political career and made himself “a national laughingstock”; that’s “the definition of an ungovernable impulse.” The guy is sick, and “with his persistent perviness,” he’s placed his private parts “squarely on the ballot.” Is that what New Yorkers want of their mayor?

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