I thought I had already watched The World’s Most Excruciating Press Conference already, but that was the last time Anthony Weiner was on TV. This time was worse, except for the fact that at least he didn’t take questions again. As the cringe-inducing drama unfolded, complete with a heckler shouting obscenities in front of grandmas at the senior center, I thought: This is why God gave us written letters of resignation.
Why Anthony Weiner thought he had to resign in person, to a horde of New York reporters and elderly spectators, is beyond me. One observer said he had to do it this way to begin the process of healing. Not sure I understood that one. Maybe he felt he had to look people in the eye and be defiant, go down as a fighter. Not sure I get that one either, except as a set up for his comeback as a future candidate for mayor of New York. Sort of a Gary Hart-like “hell no I won’t go” scene—remember that one? [Vote now: Is Weiner's political career over for good?]
Now Anthony Weiner will live on in digital infamy. He doesn’t need to have that press conference existing in video immortality. His wife sure doesn’t. And his son or daughter doesn’t. What was he thinking? He should have done it the old-fashioned way, just written a letter to the speaker and faded away. And he should have done that two weeks ago.
If he had, maybe he would have had a shot at getting a nice job on a corporate board somewhere, or head of a liberal advocacy group. After what happened today, I think he’s going to have a hard time getting hired anywhere. In search committee lingo, that press conference proved he’s got “judgment issues.” But we already knew that. [Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.]
This whole episode has been a teachable moment for the teenagers in our house: not only about the long-term consequences of sexting, but on the speed in which one can lose a good reputation, and the importance of knowing when to leave gracefully. Unfortunately they had to sit through all the obscenities to learn that. It was excruciating.