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Comedic value aside (“probe”, “device”, “Weiner”), what we know for certain is that the FBI has reopened its investigation into the into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material after discovering emails from the then-Secretary of State on a computer used by the former congressman/full-time pervert Anthony Weiner.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I miss the days when you were expected to bow-out of public life the moment your penis appeared on the internet. But the 1990’s were simpler times: in that ancient era the belief was that it was as much for your own good as for the public’s.
Yes, there were jokes at Weiner’s expense. How could there not be? As with Jeb Bush, Weiner was already behind the 8-ball with his last name. He should have understood that, unfair as it is, he had to walk a tighter rope than others. His repeated lies about someone hacking his Twitter account in order to make fun of his last name contributed to the merriment, if only because they flattered our contempt for the political class. The fact that he was young for a politician but well-on in years for a man who doesn’t understand how the internet works only contributed to our amusement.
As his foibles played out in the public eye it increasingly seemed that his alter-ego wasn’t Carlos Danger so much as Anthony Weiner. Your options limited, he made the seamless, predictable transition to the consulting class, facilitating favors for his clients from his former colleagues in Congress.
As his foibles played out in the public eye it increasingly seemed that his alter-ego wasn’t so much Carlos Danger as it was, well, Anthony Weiner. As the career of Debbie Wasserman Schultz has shown, there’s a considerable difference between being close to the Clintons and actually being a Clinton.
In the main, Americans wished Anthony Weiner the best: we are a decent people and have little desire to humiliate. But when it comes to humiliation, Anthony Weiner is a self-made man. The overwhelming sense was that he’s a person for whom it’s high time to create a meaningful life for himself with his family – and to do so out of the public eye.
Presumably he had all the ingredients necessary for happiness: something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to.
Perhaps history will deem Anthony Weiner to be the first person to fly close enough to the Clinton sun to engulf Hillary in flames rather than the other way around.
But I wouldn’t bet on it.