Democrats Turning on Weiner

Never popular with his colleagues, Anthony Weiner may now be the least liked Member.

Yesterday, Doug asked “Can Anthony Weiner Survive?” I tend to agree with his answer: Absent revelations Weiner did something more serious than sexting, he may well get off with nothing more than some embarrassment and fewer invites to the late night comedy shows that made him a minor celebrity outside his Gerrymandered district.

But it won’t be comfortable for him. In a story titled “Weiner Faces Calls to Resign and Tries to Make Amends,” Michael Barbaro and David Chen of NYT flesh out the problems the underwear model has long had with his own delegation.

Mr. Weiner spent much of the past 24 hours apologizing over and over to stunned Congressional colleagues and Democratic leaders angry at him for misleading them and the public. Even neighboring House Democrats seemed shaken, with many of them worrying that worse disclosures may still surface.

In a tense telephone call with Mr. Weiner, during which he apologized, Representative Nydia M. Velázquez of Brooklyn scolded him, as she recalled: “How can you explain that somebody can be so smart but so stupid?” Asked if Mr. Weiner should resign, she replied, “The most important thing in this business is credibility.”

[…]

Some New York Democrats have approached former Councilman Eric N. Gioia of Queens about running for Mr. Weiner’s seat, according to two people briefed on the conversations. Mr. Gioia, these people said, is open to the possibility. He declined to comment.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, was said to be particularly upset with Mr. Weiner, who waited until 15 minutes before his news conference on Monday to inform her, by phone, about his explicit online communications with women. And rather than engage in a discussion about resigning, he instead told her, in no uncertain terms, that he would keep his seat, according to a senior Democratic Congressional official.

Expressions of support from Democrats, many of whom have long grumbled about Mr. Weiner’s chest-thumping, go-it-alone style, were conspicuously scant.

At an appearance in Washington on Tuesday, the top Senate Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he could not overlook Mr. Weiner’s conduct. “I know Congressman Weiner,” Mr. Reid said. “I wish there was some way I can defend him, but I can’t.”

And I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this:

One of Mr. Weiner’s most emotional apologies was delivered to former President Bill Clinton, who officiated at his wedding in July and is extremely close with the congressman’s wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Clintons are deeply unhappy about the situation and with Mr. Weiner, people who had been told of their thinking said. Mr. Clinton declined to comment.

When your sexual indiscretions piss off Bill Clinton, you’ve crossed a line.

Still, while being unpopular with the other Democrats will make it harder for Weiner to do his job, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have trouble with his constituents. As Dave Schuler notes in the comments of Doug’s post, “He doesn’t exactly represent a Bible Belt district.” But if the party establishment backs a serious challenger in the primaries, Weiner could be in trouble.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    “… Weiner may now be the least liked Member.”

    Couldn’t resist, could you?

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    They write themselves.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Indeed. When I was teaching in the late 1990s, it was hard to avoid unintentional double entendres regarding Clinton.

  4. Vast Variety says:

    I hope he lasts until his re-election campaign at least. The commercials made by his opponent have serious comedic potential.

    I can see it now…

    “Are you tired of seeing wiener in your twitter feed? Then vote for me.”

  5. Moosebreath says:

    Another possible way this ends is that his district ends up being lost due to redistricting. NY is losing 2 seats, and in order to get a plan through the state legislature, it was likely that a NYC area seat held by a Democrat would need to be lost. If Weiner ends up as toxic as a bratwurst left in the sun for too long, this could be the way out for all concerned.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    Right there in the headline you have a Weiner being “turned on”. Yeesh…

  7. jwest says:

    Weiner’s problem was the lie, not the tweets.

    Just as Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached for a blow job, lying (especially under oath in a civil lawsuit) can lead big trouble. Weiner lost his credibility with the press, which, for a democrat, is the end of your career.

  8. rodney dill says:

    Weiner no longer in good standing.

  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    Weiner is done, stick a fork in em….

  10. ponce says:

    Israel is gunning down unarmed protesters and NATO murders scores of civilians in Libya this week and all we get is more dick jokes from the very serious blogging community?

  11. James Joyner says:

    @ponce: Foreign policy blogging is harder and generates less interest than Weiner jokes, I’m afraid. But NATO isn’t murdering anybody; it’s fighting an ill-conceived war in an urban environment.

  12. Vast Variety says:

    “Weiner no longer in good standing.”

    This along with the Marvin the Martian Eyes is probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen this morning.

  13. ponce says:

    Foreign policy blogging is harder and generates less interest than Weiner jokes

    By coincidence, I had just moved OTB from my “Foreign Policy” favorites folder to my “Gossip” folder.

  14. Rick Almeida says:

    I would like to see him brazen it out. This is exhibit # 18 million in why the Democrats suck – they abandon their own. Who’s got the moral credibility to throw stones at Weiner? Newt? The Donald? Gov. Palin? Multiple-choice Mitt? Ralph Reed?

    Republicans closed ranks around Ensign until the bitterest end, and Ensign is a full-blown criminal. Weiner’s a moron who tweeted pics of his junk to a coed. Of course, the Ensign story made barely a ripple in the news.

    The Repubs know how to use stuff like this to their advantage, the Dems just refuse to learn.

  15. Can we change the subject? Oh wait, I’ve just violated a Leftist copyright whenever one of their own is caught with their pants down.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    Can we change the subject? Oh wait, I’ve just violated a Leftist copyright whenever one of their own is caught with their pants down.

    Please…as opposed to the Rightist copyright where the subject isn’t even brought up…

  17. Vast Variety says:

    Can we change the subject? Oh wait, I’ve just violated a Leftist copyright whenever one of their own is caught with their pants down.

    How about we talk about hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mark Sanford.

  18. Moosebreath says:

    “How about we talk about hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mark Sanford.”

    Or Ensign. Or Vitter.

  19. G.A.Phillips says:

    How about we talk about hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mark Sanford.

    How about we talk about the weiner eater that’s running for a second term?

  20. Vast Variety says:

    How about we talk about the weiner eater that’s running for a second term?

    While I’m pretty sure Obama isn’t gay I would certainly vote for a gay man to be President if I felt he was up to task. Of course I’m biased a bit since I am a gay man myself.

    Or were you not actually trying to make a gay joke about the President while at the same time implying that there is something wrong with being gay?

  21. G.A.Phillips says:

    Or were you not actually trying to make a gay joke about the President while at the same time implying that there is something wrong with being gay?

    I was making a Weiner joke and it was about chili dogs and diets and Influenced by Weiner and Obama and Obama’s old lady:)

    You can be what ever you want to be.