When Anthony Weiner's twitacular fall from grace landed in the headlines the first time, few of us actually assumed this would be the end of his political career. If nothing else, he'd either spend his remaining years trying to get elected again or he'd be appointed some sort of position thanks to his wife Huma Abedin's Clinton connection.
Anyone as apparently shameless and power hungry as him wouldn't let a little wiener pic get in the way of his lifelong goal of fighting the shameless, power-hungry, miscreants who have hijacked the (apparently easily hijackable) American political system.
And return he did, using the goodwill his good South Asian wife has generated in the Democratic power base. After all, who isn't impressed with a Jewish-Muslim power couple who've taken more than a few plays out of the Clinton game book?
With Abedin in tow, and bags of money at the ready -- according to one report he headed into this year's campaign with $5.8 million in place -- Weiner went head first into the race for mayor.
Pretty audacious considering what we'd already seen, but what word would you use for him after what, um, leaked today? Just five months away from election day, and 49 days from the primaries, today it has been revealed that Anthony Weiner's wiener didn't resign when he did.
Iranian-American blogger Nik Richie (nee Hooman Abedi Karamian) of "The Dirty.com" has published photos and a first-hand account from a then-22-year-old woman who claims (and has provided alleged photographs) that she and Weiner were involved in a sexually-explicit internet relationship for nearly 6 months after he resigned from Congress amidst apologies for lying to his constituency and promises that he would cease his internet sexual activities. Several hours after Richie's report, Weiner confirmed that he continued to sext and send lewd photos after he resigned from Congress.
From July 2012 (remember, the 1st scandal hit in June 2011, so this is over a year after he resigned and promised he'd get help to stop his internet philandering) until November 2012 (that's around 5 months before he announced he's running for mayor), Weiner and the anonymous young lady were allegedly involved in a pretty explicit sexual relationship via the Internet.
So, will Weiner remain on top after this latest photo op? The latest polls had him neck and neck for first place in the mayoral race. Given what we know of him, it's unlikely he will pull out -- he was plotting his political return from the moment he resigned in the summer of 2011 and today he said he's moving forward with his campaign.
He wants this mayoral win -- he's been plotting it for awhile.
It hadn't even been two years since his sexting/marital infidelity scandal poked its way into the headlines when he announced his run for mayor this spring. And his political climb didn't skip a beat: having failed to finish even one 2-year term as a Congressman, instead of, you know, serving the constituency he claimed he cared so much about, he left that whole Congressman thing behind in a heartbeat and jumped right into the race for mayor.
And he couldn't have done it without his wife. She, like Weiner, has only one priority: power.
Judging by Hillary's stint as Secretary of State, having a Pakistani-American from a reportedly devoutly Muslim family by her side seems to have had no impact on her participation in the war against Pakistan, and the droning to death of countless Pakistani and Muslim children throughout the Middle East and South Asia.
If Abedin had any moral objection to anything of that sort, Hillary would have had to discard her years ago or Abedin herself would have done the honorable thing and resigned.
Weiner and Abedin were itching for a comeback as early as last summer. Just one year after the headlines, and right around the time today's alleged sexting partner says her relationship with Weiner began, the Weiner-Abedin family tested the public waters. In a mainstream, female-oriented gossip magazine, they framed a cover profile of life with their newborn as an effort to shoo away the (non-existent) paparazzi.
In fact, the only consistent message Weiner has sent since things went limp is that he is a family man -- that by the grace of procreation, he changed from lonelyWeiner15 to a stay-at-home daddy whose civic spirit just wouldn't rest. But even before today's revelations, his 'Weiner So Sorry' tour was already devoid of any substance once you removed his family-man image from the picture.
We were supposed to sympathize with him, feel like a vote for him is a vote for the teenage Twitterer in all of us, and forgive him like his wife did while forgetting the other terrible part of the scandal: the part after he was caught, where he lied quite adamantly, quite comfortably, and worse, where (ever so Clintonesque) he expected the public not to question their leader's methods.
And that was just a year and a half into a first-term congressional stint. Is it naïve to wonder what greater power would mean for a man who compares his marriage to that of John and Jackie Kennedy -- saying that his marriage got so much attention that it had "this kind of Camelot feel to it"?
Those sound like the words of someone whose focus is on celebrity, not service. No wonder more than a few New Yorkers have gotten the one feeling that every politician strives to distract from: that the guy's in it for the glory.
Today's insistence that he will continue with the race for mayor didn't do much to convince otherwise: like many a social media mess-up before and since, it would appear that Weiner mostly regrets that he was caught, not that he was spending hours upon hours of his taxpayer salary chatting up strangers and practicing his cell phone photography skills or that he once again got caught in a nasty lie.