Huma Abedin, who has silently but figuratively stood by her disgraced congressman husband, failed to appear next to him in a press conference this afternoon during which he announced his resignation. Standing alone behind a podium at a senior center off of Coney Island Avenue in the Sheepshead Bay area of his district, Anthony Weiner said, “I am here again to apologize for the personal mistakes I have made.” He directed the apology at his neighbors and constituents, “but particularly to my wife, Huma.”
“I’d hoped to be able to continue the work that my constituents elected me to do,” he said. “Unfortunately the distraction that I myself have created has made that impossible. So today I’m announcing my resignation from Congress.”
The press conference began about twenty minutes late, like his last presser on the matter, although thankfully this time Andrew Breitbart didn’t take the podium to offer his personal take on the matter. (He was busy on-camera at Fox News.) But there was a heckler or two in the crowd, who immediately cheered when he announced he was stepping down.
Weiner tried to continue, urging his neighbors and constituents to choose a new representative and emphasizing that he and his wife need to “continue to heal from the damage that I have caused.” The hecklers (One of whom TMZ reports was Benjy Bronk from the Howard Stern Show) continued shouting. “Throw him out!” yelled one. “Are you more than seven inches?”
Weiner has been under increasing pressure from his fellow Democrats, who threatened today to strip him of his committee memberships, thereby taking away much of his influence. News reports claimed that he planned to wait until Huma returned to the country from an international trip with her boss, Hillary Clinton. Upon her return, it’s said they had a long talk, and shortly after, reports emerged that he decided to resign. “I’ll be looking for other ways to continue to use my talents to make sure we live up to that most New York and American of ideals,” he said, giving a hint that we haven’t heard the last from him. “The idea that community, family, and country are the things that unite us.”
And there you have it: Weinergate. From silly “distraction” to congressional resignation in less than three weeks.