Anthony Weiner plunges in new poll. Is he dragging his wife down, too?
More than half of those surveyed in a new poll said Anthony Weiner should drop out of the N.Y. mayor's race. Whether his wife, Huma Abedin, a Hillary Clinton aide, is harming her own future is increasingly at issue.
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“The only possible reason I can guess for Abedin’s embrace of her husband is that she wants the power as much as he does,” says Quinn, herself no stranger to wanting, wielding, and keeping social influence in the capital city.Skip to next paragraph
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According to Politico, Abedin has been "helming a transition team that is moving toward setting up shop for a Hillary Clinton office within her husband’s foundation."
Clinton aides tell Politico Abedin's job is hers to keep regardless of the Weiner debacle.
But such professions of support nothwithstanding, some members of the chattering class are wondering if Abedin is jeopardizing her own professional future with a possible – probable? – Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign.
The long-time aide to Clinton, a calm and ubiquitous presence by Clinton’s side for years, was expected to be a key player in any 2016 effort. But now, is she too tarnished by her husband’s misdeeds and her own willingness to look the other way? Can the Clintons, who have worked long and hard to re-craft their joint public persona as one defined by devotion not infidelity, afford to be dragged, even tangentially, through another couple’s muck?
The Wall Street Journal ran a faux e-mail conversation between the two women in which Abedin seeks out Clinton’s counsel about work in the wake of scandal:
“You were masterful,” fake Clinton writes in the exchange of Abedin’s public statement last week supporting her husband’s bid. “Our phone's ringing off the hook with donors asking when Weiner's dropping out and Abedin's getting in.”
Phony Abedin; “My question now is how long is the long run. I wasn't thinking of running until 2017, but our story is bigger than the royal baby so I'm reconsidering.”
Clinton responds: “Huma for mayor? Or my old Senate seat? Selfishly I'd love to have you in the White House, but it will be your call.”
So how deep is Clinton’s affection for Abedin, and can it weather the younger aide’s personal storm? President Clinton officiated at the marriage of Weiner and Abedin, and the former secretary of State has called Abedin her second daughter. Will the Clintons look as hungry-at-all costs as Weiner if they abandon her, much as he has, for political purposes?
There’s no denying that the sordid episode must be miffing the grand dame of Democratic Party politics, as her own image control suffers along with her protégée. A former aide to the former president suggested on a Sunday political roundtable show that the Clintons would rather the story just “go away.”
But Weiner hasn’t gotten the memo.
“Let me make it very clear,” Weiner said Tuesday after a mayoral forum in Inwood. “I’ve got an enormous respect for the Clintons. They’ve been enormous friends to my wife and my family.”
It’s doubtful that respect is reciprocated. And the friendship with Abedin is facing a mammoth test.