Anthony Weiner, 'Carlos Danger,' and the tawdry opera of a new scandal (+video)
Anthony Weiner, forced from Congress in 2011 because of a sexting scandal, admitted Tuesday that the behavior didn't end until last year. For the New York mayoral hopeful, it is damaging drama.
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Anthony Weiner, the leading candidate for mayor of New York City, apparently took the online identity of "Carlos Danger" and sent lewd pictures of himself last summer to a 22-year-old woman. The woman alleges the two engaged in an illicit relationship from July to November, when the two exchanged explicit sexual banter and more lewd pictures on the social networking site Formspring. This is according to The Dirty, a tawdry nightlife website run by a man called “Nik Richie,” and BuzzFeed, a news site that captures stories going viral.
The timing of the allegations, as well as Mr. Weiner’s evasive explanations Tuesday, have opened another opera of political scandal, a now familiar drama of siren songs and vaunting ambition, the pressing fury of reporters, and a carefully orchestrated verbal game of apologies and vague denials.
"While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong," Weiner said at a packed and camera-clicking news conference late Tuesday afternoon. “This behavior is behind me."
Last summer’s alleged online dalliance, of course, would be just a year after Weiner was forced from Congress – also for sending lewd pictures to young women on social networking sites. In May, 2011, he first denied he had sent any pictures – his Twitter account had been hacked, he said.
When he could no longer sustain his denials, however, he admitted he had lied, resigning the New York congressional seat he had won seven times, each with a majority of not less than 59 percent. Weiner also announced he would enter professional treatment – another leitmotif of scandal.
Yet two years after his humiliating downfall, Weiner crafted a startling return, announcing in May a run for the city's top office – a position to which he had long aspired. He was leading or near the top of most polls when the sequel to the 2011 scandal opened Tuesday.
Huma Abedin, a protégé and close confidant of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former US secretary of State and potential Democratic nominee for president in 2016 – not to mention a veteran of the kind of drama that played out Tuesday – stood by her husband.