Anthony Weiner's Record-Setting Press Conference
So what have we learned about Anthony Weiner today? We already knew he was a creep, a narcissist and a liar. Today’s revelations, leading up to his press conference -- which will win him an an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for "most pressers about the same sex scandal" -- did not change that impression so much as deepen it. It turns out that the sexting continued after Weiner left the House of Representatives and after his contrition/redemption saga had begun to be played out in the press.
Weiner claims that the exact timeline of his scandal doesn’t matter and says that he is prepared not to contest any more allegations about it. I don’t think voters should accept this. It would be one thing if he were taking the position that none of the scandal matters because it all pertains to his private life. But he has made his alleged personal growth into part of the rationale for his campaign for mayor of New York City. If the evidence suggests that he changed his ways only just in time for that campaign, which is how it looks, people may reasonably conclude that he is manipulating them even more than most politicians do.
We are all supposed to have deep sympathy for Huma Abedin, his wife. I suppose I do have some, for what she has been through. She has, however, by all accounts been eager for him to run for office -- and her complicity in keeping him, and his pathologies, in public life does not engage my sympathy at all.
I’m left with one question. Weiner showed no emotion during the press conference. Did he not think it was important to project any, or did he figure he couldn't pull it off?
(Ramesh Ponnuru is a Bloomberg View columnist, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor at National Review. Follow him on Twitter.)