Anthony Weiner on ropes: more questions and Clintons want him out (+video)
Anthony Weiner had a bad Sunday. His campaign manager quit this weekend, and on Sunday, a confidante of the Clintons said they want him to drop out of the New York mayor's race. There are also new questions about $43,100 of campaign money he spent in 2011.
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And yet, as bad as Tuesday was, things continue to get worse. The first rule of any scandal is that it needs oxygen – it needs new developments to keep it in the public eye and to build public anger. Without new news, people begin to move on (as Weiner surely hopes they will).Skip to next paragraph
Mark is deputy national news editor for the Monitor.
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On this score, Sunday was not a good day for Weiner.
First, news leaked that Weiner's campaign manager, Danny Kedem, resigned this weekend. It's not a huge blow. As Joseph Mercurio, a political scientist at Fordham University, told Bloomberg news: "Weiner has the money, and he's a savvy pol, so I would think he can find someone else."
But it's a measure of how toxic Weiner has become politically. Added Professor Mercurio: "I suspect there's been a tremendous pressure on Kedem from labor campaigns and others who oppose Weiner, and I'm sure Kedem's interested in remaining in this business, and he can't take the pressure and he's leaving."
Then came comments by Dee Dee Myers, President Clinton's former press secretary, who said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday: "If [the Clintons] could choose, they would certainly have Weiner get out of the race and have Huma get on with her life."
It could be argued that no one is more important to Weiner right now than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Weiner might not be beholden to anyone, but Weiner's wife is a confidante of Ms. Clinton's and a former adviser. Ms. Abedin was even seen as taking a page from Clinton's playbook in standing by a dallying husband. If Clinton were to persuade Abedin that this has gone too far, Weiner's campaign would have no leg to stand on.
Then came a report by the New York Daily News that, before he resigned from Congress, Weiner in 2011 paid a private investigator nearly $45,000 in campaign money to investigate his claim that his Twitter account was hacked. When the lewd photos first surfaced in 2011, that was Weiner's defense – that his Twitter account had been hacked. He later abandoned that defense and admitted to sending the photos.
That means "Weiner ultimately paid a private investigations firm, T&M Protection services, $43,100 from his campaign fund – knowing nobody hacked anything and that he'd sent the image himself," the Daily News concludes.
Politicos have pronounced Weiner's campaign dead, and it very likely could be. But the three months until the election is a lifetime in politics. Anything could happen.
The one thing that seems certain, though, is that Weiner won't be able to survive too many more days like Sunday.