Can Anthony Weiner Survive?

James Carville doesn’t think so, and notes that Weiner didn’t really have many allies on Capitol Hill before this story broke:

Whether or not Rep. Anthony Weiner’s political career can survive this scandal depends on what else – if anything – comes out.

“If the facts keep coming out more and more, and people start freaking out, he talked on the congressional phone or something like that, it’s going to be, it’s going to be iffy,” James Carville told me. “And one of the reasons is he is a talented guy, but he’s not a particularly popular guy in the caucus.”

No Democrats have publicly supported the embattled Congressman and Leader Pelosi called for an ethics investigation.

“They are really mad at him. You can just see former speaker Pelosi is furious,” Carville said.

Carville is largely correct here. If it turns out that there’s more to this story — if, for example, Weiner actually had a physical relationship with one of these women after he was married or one of the women was underage without his knowledge — then it’s likely to be the final nail in his coffin. If the only thing that anyone comes up with is that he might have talked to one of these women on a Congressional phone, which would just be further evidence of stupidity since calls to and from those phones are logged, I don’t think that’s going to be enough to either get him in serious ethics trouble, or force him to resign. All this proves is that, once again, someone in Washington has forgotten the truism that the coverup is often worse than the alleged offense.

Meanwhile, Weiner seems to be losing his friends on cable as well. Last night, Ed Schultz, who has had Weiner on frequently, called on Weiner to resign:

And Jon Stewart, who is actually, personal friends with Weiner, has been unrelenting, both last week and, last night:

Weiner may or may not survive politically but his days as a darling of the cable hosts on the left is, I think, over.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I think Wiener should stand tall, not give an inch, and remain firm. He’s already come clean, fallen on his sword, laid it out on the table and let it all hang out. But of course his enemies have him by the short hairs and they are going to milk this sucker for all its worth. They won’t be happy until they have his head on a pole.

    It’s like an addiction now. I can’t stop.

  2. Janis Gore says:

    Can he convince his constituents to ride it out?

  3. CB says:


    A+, my man

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    Can he convince his constituents to ride it out?

    I suspect his constituents don’t actually care about the lascivious tweets, Janis. He doesn’t exactly represent a Bible belt district. The New York 9th Congressional District is comprised of (gerrymandered) parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

    IMO what may hurt him is the lying. If he can hold on to the “lying about sex” excuse he may be able to retain his seat. If there’s something other than the tweets, he’s got a problem.

  5. Gustopher says:

    Well, Vitter survived patronizing prostitutes.

    All Weiner has to do is hunker down, shut up about it, and ride out his next election. If he is redistricted out (NY is losing a downstate district), then he’s in trouble, otherwise it’s just an amusing peccadillo.

    But what about Clarence Thomas’s conflicts of interest? You know, the thing that Weiner was exposing when he wasn’t exposing his weiner?

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wow Michael. I just stood up and saluted.

  7. Janis Gore says:

    Vitter’s campaign was repetitive and plaintive. I must have had 40 robocalls in the lead -up to the election from the team asking “humbly for your vote.”

    Reminded me of Uriah Heep.

  8. michael reynolds says:


    You say you stood erect?

  9. duncan says:

    This is unfortunate, that very few leaders can lead by example… If weiner were a school teacher, police officer or other civil servant he would not have survived 1 day after such an event. I find it sad that people have 1 set of rules for one class of individuals and another set of rules for another… The truth her is Weiner is a sexual deviant, a cheat, a liar, and a poor example to lead others.

    Michael, your inuendo’s were very amusing…. It is because Weiner gave an “inch” to people in twitter, over-age and under-age that he is in this mess, Its because he did let is all hang out, as you put it. I find it super ironic that Bill Clinton another sexual deviant would give him advise, how hillarious… Ultimately one of two things will happen. He will get impeached for lying, like his friend and mentor Bill Clinton, or he will be out when re-districting happens.

    Re: being mayor of New York, those dreams are over now… Any one can run against him now on his sexual deviance records, This has ruined that forever..