View Photo Gallery: A number of wives have gotten dragged into their husbands’ political careers and missteps. Many stand by their man.
A new poll indicates that former congressman Anthony Weiner has fallen to fourth place in the race for New York City mayor following new revelations about his habit of exchanging sexually explicit communications with young women online. The discouraging results for Weiner’s campaign are from a survey by Quinnipiac:
The poll of likely Democratic primary voters gives Weiner 16 percent of the vote. City Council President Christine Quinn leads with 27 percent, followed by 21 percent for Public Advocate Bill De Blasio and 20 percent for former comptroller Bill Thompson.
The former congressman admitted recently that he continued to engage in sexual conversations with women he met online after resigning from Congress. Just before that revelation, Quinnipiac had Weiner leading with primary voters.
“With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” Quinnipiac polling director Maurice Carroll said.
In a runoff — triggered if no candidate takes at least 40 percent of the vote — Thompson beats Quinn by 10 points. De Blasio was not included in questions about a runoff, but given his strong showing here, he should be in future. While Thompson is well-positioned, the liberal De Blasio also appears to be benefiting from Weiner’s collapse.
Last week, The Fix wrote that Weiner’s campaign was effectively finished:
Anthony Weiner began this week, somewhat remarkably, as a serious candidate to be the next mayor of New York City. He ends it struggling for relevance in a race that is passing him by as he continues to battle his own self-inflicted wounds.
Weiner’s ever-changing story regarding the number of women with whom — and when — he exchanged lewd online communiques has turned what looked like a story of political redemption into a story of political hubris. Put slightly differently: We Americans love second acts in public life. But no one really likes a really long first act with a remarkably predictable plot. And that’s what Weiner turned into this week. . . .
Make no mistake: Anthony Weiner will continue to draw headlines in the six weeks or so between now and the New York City mayoral primary. But don’t confuse that press coverage with anything like real relevance for Weiner in the race.
Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan
The media’s coverage of Weiner has been almost universally derisive, including this New Yorker cover comparing Weiner to King Kong. The press has also turned its attention to Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and, surprisingly, Weiner’s staunchest defender. Sally Quinn questions Abedin’s decision to stand by her husband:
Anthony Weiner, the New York mayoral candidate, says that his decision to stay in the race despite another sex chat scandal “is not about me. It’s about the citizens of New York.”
Unfortunately, that is just not the case. It’s about the mayoral race, yes, but even more so, his decision is inextricably linked to the perception of the role of women in our culture.
I had felt sorry for his wife, Huma Abedin, even though I couldn’t understand how she was able to condone his online antics in the first place. I have nothing against Abedin. I like her: She is a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman. I ache for her need to come to the rescue of this man who has betrayed her so often and will likely do it again. I ache for all women who find themselves in this position. And yet, there she stood in front of the cameras, this modern American career woman, by her man, saying she had forgiven him, loved him and believed in him. Just what exactly does she believe in? The only thing she can believe in for sure is that he will continue his infidelity.
Though her friends say she is strong and resolute and defiant, sadly she makes all women look like weak and helpless victims. She was not standing there in a position of strength. It was such a setback for women everywhere. . . .
I can’t help blaming Abedin for condoning this behavior and allowing this charade to continue. In a Post story Thursday, Karen Tumulty wrote that Abedin, a longtime key aide to Hillary Clinton, has been playing the Hillary card to solicit money from Clinton donors, who are too afraid of alienating Hillary Clinton to turn Abedin down. Then there was the stunning news conference in which she defended her husband. I understand that one woman’s humiliation is another woman’s power play, but I can’t see how what Abedin did could be a good example for any woman anywhere.
Abedin’s faith in Islam has also been criticized — unfairly, writes Asma Uddin: