Sunday, October 30, 2016

Democrats Erupt With Fury at Anthony Weiner's Return

Well, I'm just all shaken up about this.

At NYT, "For Democrats, Anthony Weiner Makes an Unwelcome Return":

Carolyn B. Maloney, a congresswoman from the Upper East Side, was riding in a taxi on Friday when she heard the news: Emails discovered in an investigation into Anthony D. Weiner’s sexting had revived the F.B.I.’s interest in the case of Hillary Clinton’s private server.

“I said: ‘Oh, no, not this, not happening now,’” she said.

And then Ms. Maloney’s thoughts turned to Mr. Weiner. “I can’t stand him — even before this,” Ms. Maloney said.

On the West Coast, John L. Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, informed of Mr. Weiner’s inadvertent intrusion into the election on Friday evening, let loose an emphatic expletive.

“We’re still talking about that guy during a presidential election?” Mr. Burton fumed, using a profane seven-letter word instead of “guy.”

Weiner — the name became almost a curse word among senior Democrats over the past two days, as the disgraced congressman unexpectedly surfaced in the final stretch of the presidential contest. The news resurrected memories of previous Weiner scandals.

“He is like a recurring nightmare,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “It’s like one of those ‘Damien’ movies — it’s like every time you think he’s dead, he keeps coming again.”

The fury that many leading Democrats feel toward Mr. Weiner had been building for years. His sexting habits embarrassed them. His attempted political comeback in 2013 disgusted them.

But their high regard for his now-estranged wife, Huma Abedin, always kept them from going public. On Friday that was over.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers and an influential Clinton supporter, said she had long held her tongue out of “enormous respect and love” for Ms. Abedin.

But Ms. Weingarten said Mr. Weiner’s treatment of women demanded forceful censure.

“I don’t care who it is, no one should be a sexual predator,” Ms. Weingarten said. “I think we all have to take a stand about that, and I think what’s happening now is that people are.”

Mr. Weiner, who lost his seat in Congress and his mayoral hopes after repeated episodes in which he sent lewd messages to women, is now under federal investigation for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. In that inquiry, the F.B.I. this month seized a laptop that contained thousands of messages belonging to Ms. Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton.

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told Congress on Friday that investigators will now review those messages for possible relevance to the Clinton inquiry, news that rattled the Clinton campaign and stung her supporters.

For some, the development touched off more worry than anger: former President Bill Clinton, who learned of the news en route to his last event of the day, in Pennsylvania, fretted that it would draw hostile attention to Ms. Abedin, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Around the country, former aides to Mr. Weiner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, traded emails and texts throughout the weekend, fuming at the “collateral damage” inflicted by their onetime boss....
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