Disgraced former Congressman/now candidate for NYC mayor Anthony Weiner has been caught again with his pants down – literally – and yesterday begged the citizens of New York City to give him another chance:
Anthony Weiner resisted calls to withdraw from the New York City mayoral race Tuesday after finding himself caught in another sexting scandal similar to the one that ended his congressional career two years ago.
Weiner admitted sending a woman sexually explicit photos and messages and acknowledged the activity took place as recently as last summer, more than a year after he resigned from the House in June 2011 for the same sort of behavior with at least a half-dozen women.
With his wife, Huma Abedin, standing an arm’s length away from him, Weiner told a hastily called news conference he would stay in the race despite the new onslaught of negative publicity.
“I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they are willing to still continue to give me a second chance,” Weiner said.
Should he be? The New York Times says no, and I’m inclined to have a rare moment of agreement with them.
I’ve talked before here and on social media about this seemingly being the “year of redemption” for ex-politicos caught in sex scandals who are trying to launch returns to public office. Former SC Governor Mark Sanford, caught in an affair a few years ago with a woman he is still with, is now District 1’s US House representative after winning a special election in May to replace Tim Scott, who – in December – was named by Governor Haley to fill Senator DeMint’s seat after he retired from Congress in January to head the Heritage Foundation. Eliot Spitzer, caught in a prostitution scandal which forced the former Governor of NY to resign in 2008, is now literally asking for forgiveness from New Yorkers in his bid to become the city’s next controller. Thankfully, former Senator/Dem VP nominee John Edwards doesn’t appear to be close at all to winning back the hearts and minds of former voters, as this recent NC poll indicates. But is he an anomaly?
Personal redemption between family, friends, and God is one thing, but professionally speaking? As a general rule I’m not inclined to give adulterers a second chance in public office, because I believe if you’re so stupid as to abuse your spouse’s trust in such a personal, intimate, and devastating way, you don’t deserve the chance to also abuse a political office. But other factors come into play, too, as some suggested in the case of Mark Sanford. His district was reliably Republican and that voters there chose him just goes to show you that the only thing they trust less than an adulterer is a Democrat. Also, in a Presidential race – for example – if the eventual nominee (no matter the party) had been previously outed as an adulterer, do you just not vote for them and inadvertently help the other candidate win? That would be a case where I might have to put my rule aside – depending on the nominee, because I simply don’t trust any Democrat to preside over this nation at all. Period. Full stop.
Back to Weiner, ultimately, of course, this is up to NYC voters – who will have to decide if someone who is on record as being a serial liar and habitually unfaithful in the emotional sense (it is assumed he didn’t actually sleep with any of his online ‘partners’) to his wife is worthy of that second chance. They’ll have some time to consider it, as the primary for this race is in September. Weiner just better hope that no more sexting scandals break between now and then. Three strikes, and you’re out – and all that.