However things may have changed for women in recent years on the political-cultural front, particularly where sex scandals are concerned. And Abedin's own political connections – though often described as "deeply private," she is a longtime Hillary Clinton staffer who has reportedly taken an influential role in her husband's political comeback post-Weinergate Round 1 – makes this an even more fascinating case.
"If Anthony Weiner was married to someone who had no connection to the Clintons, I don't think you would see this kind of 'backlash' towards Huma," Brown says. "There is a reality that Hillary Clinton was Huma's mentor and boss in the political world. They're very close. It doesn't surprise me that Clinton would have advised her to stick it out."
Whether or not Abedin has plans to follow in Clinton's footsteps and run for office herself, Weiner's success has its own pay off for Abedin's relationship to the Clintons, particularly if Hillary chooses to run for president in 2016.
"If Anthony Weiner wins this contest, that makes Huma first lady of New York City, and that also really helps Hillary Clinton with a 2016 race from a money standpoint," Brown says, as it would freeze out from New York donor circles Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who have both been considered as possible challengers to Clinton for the 2016 Democratic ticket. Indeed, Politico has a round up of the Abedin critics who have made this connection.
Whatever her future intentions, the attention has focused on the political calculus of her decision to stand by her husband, particularly as Weiner appeared to have re-engaged in the behavior that got him in trouble in the first place as his comeback publicity tour was already in gear.
"She has not just been the beautiful wife standing by at the press conference," says Michael Cobb, a professor of political science at North Carolina State University. "She's been quite forceful in giving him cover."