Everyone needs something to brighten up their day. And Anthony Weiner has once again come up with the goods.
Readers will recall that the Democrat politician had to resign from the US Congress two years ago after a technological mishap meant he sent a photo of his penis (or ‘wiener’ in American slang) to all of his Twitter followers instead of to the one woman he had meant to. Initially claiming that his account had been hacked (see here) Weiner then had to admit that the wiener was his (as were a string of ‘sexting’ conservations with young women) and humiliatingly stood down from office (the attempted cover-up being significantly larger than the offence).
After the compulsory brief period of absence and some soft-focus interviews alongside his wife (Hilary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin) Weiner came out of retirement in May to announce that he was running for Mayor of New York. It was an astonishing moment – so brazen, so filled with chutzpah that you couldn’t help thinking ‘You can’t be serious’ and ‘Only in New York’ at the same time.
But now Weiner’s wiener has got him into trouble again. A set of new photos and sex-messages have emerged which Weiner sent to another woman. The conversations seem to make it clear that he carried out this set of exchanges after his last resignation and during or after the period in which he claimed all this was behind him. Now he and Huma have had to do a humiliating press conference about this new set of exchanges and he has said that he is just asking the people of New York for a second chance – although it is actually a third by my count.
Although this sort of thing doesn’t usually interest me, there is something about the Weiner case that is grimly fascinating. Firstly because he is such an awful person. Anybody who has watched the way in which he treats his female interviewer here (including the slow hand-clap) or watched his bizarre speeches in the House like this one should have guessed that this is a man with problems. The latter speech in particular – on healthcare – is just bursting with ‘weird little man who wants to be the incredible hulk’ stuff. That is why he – and it – stuck in my mind. But now it turns out that where I saw ‘ghastly’ others saw ‘hot’.
For the latest person to receive some wiener-grams is a 23-year old Democrat party activist called Sydney Leathers. Miss Leathers is a self-described ‘progressive liberal blogger’. On her personal website she lists her heroes. Naturally President Obama is in first place and Bill Maher in second. Anthony Weiner is third, while other heroes include Julian Assange. Whether Weiner sent his wiener to Leathers because he’d seen himself at number three or whether Weiner was at number three because Leathers had already seen his wiener is not entirely clear. It would be interesting to have this clarified. Julian Assange, in particular, may wish to know how he might rise higher in Miss Leathers’ hall of fame.
Anyhow – the exchanges, in all their gruesome and explicit detail, have been posted here. And what struck me most (in reading them so you don’t have to) is that the very speeches which I first saw Weiner give, which persuaded me that he was the most appalling little man, were exactly the appearances that made Ms Leathers hot for him.
The relevant nugget (the phrase that is, not one of the photos) comes amid the NY Mayoral candidate’s descriptions of what he would like to do to Leathers, which positions and how often. She replies ‘I basically worship the ground you walk on. You’re incredible’. This prompts him to take a break from explaining that he wants to hold her by the throat and ask for further details. The nub of his question is: ‘What in particular is it you find so amazing about me?’ Her response is: ‘Specifically your health care rants were a huge turn on.’
Miss Leathers apparently now has an agent and is looking to make a little cash. Mr Weiner will presumably press-on with his comeback even while continuing to embarrass and humiliate his wife. But I am left wondering at how differently people can react to the same event. Is this, perhaps, evidence of the left-right divide we hear so much about?Tags: America, Anthony Weiner, Politics, Scandal