THE BLOG
07/25/2013 05:14 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2013

Huma Should Take a Page From Dignified Jenny Sanford

Another day, another mortifying half-truth confession from disgraced Congressman Weiner.

Before the day was over, public discussions shifted away from Anthony Weiner's disturbing sexting fetishes to Huma Abedin's decision to publicly stand by her man. Perhaps that was the intended outcome.

But on day two, the conversation is now about the mean, judgmental people who are making Huma's decision to stay in her marriage more stressful and difficult. Like this column in NBC's Today Health titled, "We feel you, Huma: Disapproving friends add extra sting to infidelity."

When I tweeted that Huma should let her husband, "do his own creepy-weird press conferences," my generally supportive twitter friends shot back, "I support a spouses right to put up with her marriage choices" and "What would you do if it was your husband?"

Since my husband is a sitting congressman and former colleague of Mr. Weiner, it's a fair question. As fellow members of the political spouse club, Huma Abedin and I know something that the uninitiated may not -- there is nothing more stressful on a marriage than a tough political campaign. Except, perhaps, working through spousal infidelity. Combining the two seems just plain crazy to me. A wiser, more humble decision might be to take ample time to quietly, privately, do the hard work needed to rebuild trust and security in ones marriage.

We now know that Huma was aware of her husband's sexting lapses last summer, before he announced his candidacy. Her decision to support his ambitions and subject their fragile reconciliation and new little family to the most grueling, intense and unforgiving mayoral race in America seems wildly imprudent.

In addition, Huma's decision to reinvent the silent, humiliated spouse routine by actually participating in the media circus to vouch for her philandering hubby has actually set women back decades.

American wives, scorned or otherwise, and especially political wives, hoped that the classy and brave Ms. Sanford had finally, once and for all, put the wife-prop thing to rest when she eschewed her husband's vile press conference and instead handed curious reporters outside of her home a dignified letter explaining her need for privacy and her unwavering commitment to raising up honorable sons.

Is Huma's reinvented role at the press conference now the new expectation? Some liberal pundits think so. Tina Brown, declared "Huma for Mayor" on her twitter following the presser. While female MSNBC pundits praised her for "publicly owning her decision." Go girl! Thomas Lifson in The American Thinker said Huma's "performance ('whole lotta therapy') was superb, establishing Ms. Abedin as dignified, strong, and starting to look as American as apple pie."

Dignified? Strong? Apple pie? Is this really what America's moms want to be telling our daughter's empowerment looks like?

Huma's decision to forgive her husband should not be subject to criticism. It's her right and, indeed, may be a very admirable choice for her family. However, her timing, her choice of venue, and her complicity in her husband's spectacle has made her unrelatable to millions of everyday women, in spite of what the liberal, feminist elite class would have us think.

Sadly, together with her shameless husband, they have managed to further coarsen our culture and create more distrust and skepticism of politics and public servants at a time Americans can ill afford it.

Fortunately, there was a silver lining in this week of tawdry, scandalous, innocence-robbing television news coverage -- the perfectly timed birth of the future king of England, baby George.

In the beautiful, beaming faces of the new royal parents, we saw that celebrity doesn't necessarily corrupt and that it was precisely their normalcy -- Kate passing the baby to William in that overly cautious new-parent way, and William's self deprecating quip about the baby having more hair than him -- that endeared the world to them. In their lovely affirmation of life and family on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital, we commoners saw a bit of ourselves in this royal couple.

I imagine most Americans are thankful that they can't say the same of the Weiners.

Rachel Campos-Duffy is an author, pundit, and mother of six. She is the wife of Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy and the author of "Stay home, stay happy: 10 Secrets to Loving at home motherhood".

Subscribe to the In(formation) email.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers.