Anthony Weiner 'sexting' affair turns into political blame game

Democrats calling for Anthony Weiner's resignation are piling on as Republicans say they should have done so sooner. Hillary Clinton, experienced in such matters, has taken Weiner's wife under her wing.

By , Staff writer

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    Queens residents hold a rally Sunday calling for the resignation of US Rep. Anthony Weiner in front of his office in New York while the Congressman is presumed to be in a rehab facility.
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The Anthony Weiner “sexting” affair has turned into a political blame game.

Republicans say Democrats took way too long (five days) after Rep. Weiner admitted lying about the scandal – sending explicit messages and photos to half a dozen women, none of whom was his wife – to call for the New York congressman’s resignation.

Democrats cry “hypocrisy,” pointing to all those recent cases where Republicans expressed far more sorrow than anger in responding to hanky-panky by some of their own, offering prayers rather than condemnation. David Vitter! John Ensign!

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On Sunday, more photos emerged – taken in the House Members Gym and posted online by TMZ.com, the celebrity gossip site, and sent to at least one woman. (So easy to do with a BlackBerry and a mirror.)

Meanwhile, House minority whip Rep. Steny Hoyer joined the chorus of senior Democrats saying Weiner must go.

On Saturday, Weiner’s office said he’d be taking a “short leave of absence” in order to “seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person.”

Joining Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Steve Israel, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Hoyer said Sunday Weiner’s “bizarre and unacceptable behavior” means he should resign.

“I would hope that Mr. Weiner would use this opportunity to reflect on whether he can proceed,” Hoyer said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “I don’t see how he can and I hope he would make that judgment.”

In Weiner’s Queens District Sunday, groups rallied for and against him. Most of the protestors gathered by the district office on Kew Gardens Road wanted Weiner to step down, the news channel NY1 reported, but a few held a counter-protest and said the representative is too beneficial for the area to leave politics.

While the scandal swirled, Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin has been in Persian Gulf and African states with her boss Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sunday Times columnist Tony Allen-Mills reports that Secretary Clinton has taken Ms. Abedin under her wing – a development that makes perfect sense given Bill Clinton’s own episode of betrayal and impeachment.

“Somewhere between Abu Dhabi and Lusaka, the US's most powerful diplomat sat down with her closest aide last week and talked of straying husbands, predatory women, and Internet sex,” Allen-Mills wrote. “It was not quite what Hillary Clinton had intended when she set off on her latest tour as US Secretary of State; yet it is hard to think of anyone in Washington better equipped to offer advice on the painful fallout from a sexual scandal.”

Indeed.

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