Blog Buzz: 'Can Weiner Still Win? You're Kidding, Right?'

The blogosphere reacts to new allegations of online sexual misconduct.

Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin.
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Joe Concha of Mediaite said that rather than turning voters away from Weiner, the new revelation actually endears him more to them:

So is this the end for Weiner's political ambitions? The media certainly doesn't hope so. Between Eliot Spitzer—the guy who paid obscene amounts of money for the professional services of a former Parker House regular named Ashley Dupre—running to become Comptroller of New York, and Weiner looking to be in charge of arguably the greatest city in the world, it certainly beats having to report on about pesky items such as budgets, taxes and security with those boring no-name candidates doing all the talking.

But can Weiner still win? You're kidding, right? The way it works these days, his poll numbers will jump 5-7 points as a result of this latest revelation. The thought process from Weiner supporters is the following: If his wife–who must really, really want to be First Lady of New York–can continually forgive him, why shouldn't they?

At last check, both Spitzer and Weiner were leading their respective races and showed no signs of relinquishing those leads. But now that today's news is out…Weiner might as well start measuring the drapes at Gracie Mansion right now.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

Richard Kim of The Nation writes that Weiner's policy positions are far more offensive than anything he did in his private life:

Nothing Carlos Danger did was illegal or coercive, and, it should be pointed out, none of it actually involved physical contact. His behavior and his marriage are entirely unworthy of public concern.

Unless, of course, Carlos Danger has the bad luck to also be Anthony Weiner, politician and candidate, in which case his lies about sex are a sign of a more intrinsic untrustworthiness, his indiscretions a sign of fundamental bad judgment and his repeated transgressions the source of an irretrievably broken public trust. On one level, this is all true. And of course, Weiner himself courted this public condemnation—not by the original sin of sexting but by having the balls to trot out his bogus rehabilitation as something that qualifies him to be mayor of New York.

Yes, Anthony Weiner is a weasel, a liar, a moron and a ridiculous egomaniac. Yes, he is unfit to hold public office. It doesn't take a picture of his junk to prove that.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air said that regardless of Weiner's sexual indiscretions on the internet, the press conference he subjected his wife to ought to convince New Yorkers he isn't right for the job:

One would certainly hope that the latest chapter in Where On The Internet Is Anthony Weiner disqualifies him from public office, at least for a while.  If that doesn't do it, then the humiliation that Weiner inflicted on his wife yesterday should do it. 

Now that he's pushed his wife into the political spotlight in his defense, Weiner had better prepare her for what follows.  For instance, while most of the commentary has been sympathetic to Huma, at least some are wondering just how she rationalized a return to electoral politics with this sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

The question is whether New Yorkers really want to deal with this continuing public train wreck or find someone who is responsible enough to run his own life, let alone the nation's largest city.  After yesterday's train wreck, the Weiners should be taking the NYT's advice and get out of public life, but it seems they won't get that message until voters deliver it to them.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Hanna Rosin of Slate wrote that while Weiner used yesterday's press conference to make a campaign pitch to New Yorkers, Abedin had remarkable composure for a woman forced to comment on private matters in such a public way:

A political wife with a cheating husband generally has two choices. She can stand on the stage alongside him and suffer forever the derision and condescension of feminists (“poor” Silda Spitzer). Or she can decline to take the stage and write a vengeful memoir (Jenny Sanford) and be a heroine forevermore. Neither of these options is ideal because they seem more like responses to public expectations than anything that a real live wife living through a grueling marital moment might actually choose to do.