In the future, when you google the word "chutzpah," after the definitions of "unbelievable gall" and "crass, vulgar, nerve," there will be a footnote that says, "See Anthony Weiner." This man defines public humiliation, and yet still he stands, mast to the wind. It's now public knowledge that JFK had a sexual addiction he satisfied with a variety of young sycophants and prostitutes, but it was kept private in a world of press discretion. If not for the internet, Weiner would be the guy walking around the schoolyard naked but for a raincoat. Kennedy might have been a conscienceless horndog, but Weiner is a pervert.
Hey, kids! Let me give you some advice: Nothing stays private on the web, so unless you're a twisted exhibitionist or a porn star, don't take pictures of your genitalia and post them on the internet. And stay away from the creepy man running for mayor of New York City. When news of the former congressman's serial exhibitionism was revealed, sources claimed Weiner's pics were posted on a website called TheDirty.com under the name "Carlos Danger." So just for journalistic integrity, I logged on, so to speak, and sure enough, there was Anthony Weiner, clutching his schvantz.
I'll admit to enjoying Weiner's performances on the House floor, when he was the only Democratic representative besides Alan Grayson who would show genuine indignant wrath at the Republican Party's iron-curtain legislative strategy, but I had no idea what he was doing back in the cloakroom. The incredible thing is that this man has no shame. So what if he resigned in 2011 over sending inappropriate photos over social media and lying about it? He seems to believe that his talents are so invaluable to the city of New York, his little hobby will be discounted by voters.
More tawdry than Weiner's online exploits was dragging his wife into this ungodly mess. But Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife of three years, said she agreed to a joint press conference of her own accord. Abedin, a Hillary Clinton staffer since 1996, said she forgave Weiner his indiscretions and supported his mayoral candidacy.
I wonder what Mrs. Clinton thought about Abedin's decision to "stand by her man," since Hillary was confronted with exactly the same circumstance in Bill Clinton's presidential campaign of 1992. Pundits as varied as Maureen Dowd and Rush Limbaugh have speculated that the two women's motives for staying with their lying husbands were similar: the desire for fame and power. Although Rush added racistly, "Huma is a Muslim. In that regard, Weiner ought to be able to get away with anything." Both women's forgiveness enabled their husbands to continue their aberrant behavior as if they would never get caught — Clinton in the White House and Weiner after he resigned from Congress. And as with Monica Lewinsky, a University of Indiana co-ed with the porn-appropriate name of Sydney Leathers has come forward with sexually explicit text messages and pictures that she exchanged with Weiner last summer. "I thought I loved him," Leathers said when it was revealed that Weiner offered to buy her a condo in Chicago and get her a job with Politico.
Over the weekend, Weiner's campaign manager, Danny Kedem, resigned over the latest batch of tasteless texts, but Weiner pledged to remain in the race because "it's about the middle class." It's actually about the no class. "We knew this would be a tough campaign," explained Señor Danger in one of the understatements of the year. Promising that his twisted tweets were "behind him" somehow oddly made it sound worse. Weiner explained that he returned to his pet perversions "during a rough time in our marriage," seemingly placing the blame on his spouse for his nasty conduct. But now Abedin is on board as Weiner's dinghy drops like a stone in the polls.
This walking punch-line of a person may have a strategy. If no one in the mayoral primary gets 40 percent of the vote, a runoff is mandated between the top two candidates. If Weiner continues to stonewall his critics, he stands the chance of getting in the runoff, where he can attempt to distract attention from his penis by attacking his opponent. I don't believe he'll last that long. The same massive ego that allowed him to believe that strange women wanted to see pictures of his schlong will carry him until the full weight of public revulsion wears him down.
Also, the longer Huma Abedin supports this fool, the worse it looks for Hillary Clinton, and 2016 is just around the corner. Abedin is supposed to be one of Hillary's closest advisers. How much can her future advice be valued if she continues to campaign for a pervert for mayor? The stench of Weiner's preposterous campaign is beginning to infest those around him. Carlos Danger may say he's in the race to stay, but the one person who could make him drop out in a New York minute is Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Randy Haspel writes the "Born-Again Hippies" blog, where a version of this column first appeared.