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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Anthony Weiner at the nadir of his political career

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

The article that follows was published 2 years ago on the online magazine The Morning Eyes. Then, Anthony was swinging in a slump. However, there was a consensus—a very vocal consensus—that he could rebound. Indeed, he was in a sweet rebound, retracing the road he was riding on at the time of his political downfall. New Yorkers appeared to have forgiven him as I predicted in this piece back then. He was rising in the polls, blazing the trail wherever he went until he ran across his own anti-social and sentimental misdeeds: Getting caught again in the same wrongdoings that had already cost him his seat in the U.S. Congress. A woman from Ohio has laid the bait, and He took it. This time, can he pull himself back from the brink?


He tried to hang on. He swung, leaped, dived and finally resigned to the inevitable. From the start, we said Anthony Weiner was done. This afternoon, our prophecy was accomplished as Anthony stood in the dark alley of his political life, facing an army of journalists to say precisely what he thought would have been unthinkable just a month ago. His wife was nowhere in sight, a sign that the highly reserved Abadin was not prepared to lead him to the exit door. However, news report said shortly before the press conference, Weiner was spotted outside his apartment in Queens, New York, with his wife by his side. 

 “I had hoped to be able to continue the work that my constituents elected me to do. Unfortunately, the distraction that I myself have created has made that impossible. So today I’m announcing my resignation from Congress,” said the beleaguered Congressman, who was once the rising star of the Democratic Party, well on his way to replacing Michael Bloomberg at the Mayoral Office in the Big Apple.

Weiner’s departure came after almost three weeks of a socio-political drama, triggered by the news that he had e-mailed lewd pictures of his flare to a 21-year-old Seattle college student during Memorial Day weekend.

This is a classic case of what is called the greatest fall from grace. By all account, just a few days ago, Anthony Weiner stood within striking distance of the New York City Mayor’s Office. Without a doubt, he was going to be the next mayor, everyone kept on saying. But this afternoon, Weiner found himself at the Nadir of his political trajectory, apologizing for the humiliation, the shame, the indiscretion and the inhibition that his awkward behavior has brought upon his wife, his colleagues in Congress, and, most embarrassingly, his constituents that trusted him enough to send him to represent them in Washington.

Weiner also said that his resignation is effective immediately. One can infer that Huma Abadin, his wife, whom the Congressman said he was waiting for to come home before making his final decision, has indeed given him the feu vert or the blessing to announce his resignation. Abadin was away in an overseas trip with Hillary Clinton. She is Mrs. Clinton’s personal secretary.

These are tough times for Weiner and his colleagues in Washington. Weiner’s action has become a serious liability for the Democratic agenda in Congress. Nancy Pelosi and others, including President Barack Obama, wanted him out as soon as possible. However, they cannot hide their pain—political pain that is—that Weiner’s departure will undoubtedly cause. Weiner was one of the most flamboyant Democrats in Washington, who was never afraid to take on the Republicans head-on on whatever the subject might be.

The Democrats are devastated

One could understand why the Democratic leadership in Congress was quick to back Weiner as he emphatically denied to have ever sent photos to anyone when the news of his lewd pictures leaked out in the media. This afternoon, the Congressman was clumsily trying to repair the irreparable damage. He said he is departing Congress in order to give his party the chance to get back to resuming its work on behalf of the American people so that he and his wife could focus on healing “from the damage that I have caused.”

It is hard to imagine how someone could jeopardize such a promising career just because of uncontrolled lusts for other women. If he didn’t learn his lesson before, today he certainly got it, in the unwanted venue where he never anticipated of being. 

Finally, Anthony may not be entirely doomed politically. Some experts say he can still rebound. Bill Clinton survived and thrived after his political scandal with Monica Lewinsky.  His marriage remained intact and his foundation is now flourishing. So Weiner, now in a slump, can re-climb the political ladder. After all, he is not the first husband who cheated on his wife, and then, when caught, did his contrition and received the absolution. So Abadin, who may still be reeling from the embarrassment, may ultimately forgive him.  But Weiner is going to have to work hard to regain not only the trust of his wife, but also the trust of his constituency.

NoteDr. Ardain Isma is editor-in-chief of CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of North Florida (UNF). He is a scholar as well as a novelist. He may be reached at:publisher@csmsmagazine.org

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