Can Anthony Weiner survive this scandal?
JUL 24, 2013 | BY DYLAN HORNBY
Once again, former United States Congressman Anthony Weiner has found himself in the midst of a sex scandal. Weiner, a Democratic politician from New York who has recently launched a campaign to replace Michael Bloomberg as Mayor of America’s largest city has admitted to his involvement in a sexting scandal, sending lewd sexually-charged messages to various women online. This comes just two years after Weiner claims to have been “cured” of his previous obsessions with sex and infidelity through therapy.
In the spring of 2011, Weiner made many tabloid headlines when photos of an obvious bulge in a pair of boxer briefs were accidentally tweeted from his Twitter account. He vehemently denied the photo was his at first, suggesting they were either doctored or he was framed by someone. Yet, a few weeks into the “Weinergate” scandal Anthony Weiner finally admitted to being the subject of the photos, which were actually meant for a young woman who was currently a college undergrad. He resigned from his position as a congressman soon afterwards.
Does cheating make Anthony Weiner an unfit politician? It may seem so at first. The assumption that Weiner isn’t fit to govern America’s premier city becomes even more apparent when he has covered up the truth, now on two separate occasions. Not to mention the absurdity of a man in his late forties who sends pictures of his junk around to college girls and sexts with the entertaining pseudonym of “Carlos Dangerous”. Is this man seriously looking to “move forward” as New York’s mayor? The question that faces Weiner now is whether this new sex scandal will finally be enough to derail his already controversial campaign.
Yet, while this scandal has certainly raised more than two eyebrows, there are many notable instances of politicians surviving sex scandals. A large part of weathering the storm appears to include at least some notion of forgiveness from their significant other.
Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin has now strongly spoken to media for the first time forgiving her husband’s mistakes and defending his Mayor campaign. Abedin’s support of Weiner, a husband who has now lied to her twice about his infidelity, has been heavily criticized by the press. Just to make the story even sweeter, Abedin’s professional past has also been touched by a similar scandal. She is also known for her high-ranking role as an aide to Hillary Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton is one of, if not the most notable female politician who struggled with infidelity, and decided to also seek forgiveness for her husband. Of course, such a thing must not have been easy. Bill Clinton did receive heavy criticism at the end of his second term for his sexual relations and a large part of George W. Bush’s Presidential campaign was the promise to restore integrity to the White House.
However Clinton’s calm presidency soon became popularized as a good time for America, particularly during the midst of two large wars in the US following 9/11. Even nearly 15 years after the scandal, comedians still use Bill Clinton and his charismatic and sexual demeanour with women in their material. Furthermore, the continued relationship between the two has surely boosted Hillary Clinton’s political clout. Could we imagine how a divorce would have been handled by the Democrats? Republicans? The media? Rest assured, a Hillary Clinton presidential run would be much more controversial, and likely nowhere near as popular as both Clintons working side-by-side.
However, will we see the same thing come of Anthony Weiner? His wife has stood by his side, but this may prove to be one too many times. Many people do think it's rational and can related to giving their significant others a second chance. Nevertheless, what Weiner did was simply relapse back to his previous problems. All this after repeated promises and supposedly genuine efforts to stay faithful. While policy points are surely important to voters, character is as well. The ability to learn from your own mistakes is essential for any politician who is worth their salt and can stay in the game.
Most Americans forgave their former president after his brief sexual affair while in office. This week however, Anthony Weiner has all but surely blew his chance at forgiveness.
- Subtitle: Latest sexting scandal could be the end of the road for "Carlos Dangerous"