Weiner won’t shrivel up and disappear

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Stay tuned: Rep. Anthony Weiner could rise again.

The embarrassed and embattled congressman who admitted to having raunchy online romances with at least six women closed out his political career with a brief resignation announcement on Thursday — but hinted that this wasn’t the last time we’ll see the lanky legislator from Midwood.

“I got into politics to help give a voice to the many who simply didn’t have one,” Weiner (D-Sheepshead Bay) told a huge throng at the Council Center for Seniors on Quentin Road near Coney Island Avenue — a bizarre mix of news reporters and seniors who recalled how Weiner kicked off his city council campaign in the same room in 1991. “Now I will be looking for other ways to contribute my talents. With God’s help and hard work, we will all be successful.”

Some believe that Weiner was laying the groundwork for a period of reflection, followed by a public return with the backing of his wife and, perhaps, another run for office — even his own, as Slate’s Josh Chafetz proposed this week.

Since Weiner hasn’t committed a crime, and arguably has not even committed a serious ethics violation, why not let the voters decide?” Chafetz wrote on Wednesday. “And the best way for him to do that is simply to resign and run in the special election that would be called to fill his seat.”

Indeed, few are ruling out a comeback, judging by the open-ended language of other politician’s post-resignation statements.

“Anthony Weiner was an effective and passionate advocate for the people he represented,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, Weiner’s longtime mentor. “He has served his community, city and country well for over two decades.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Park Slope) added that Weiner “has been a fierce and loyal advocate on behalf of his constituen­ts.”

“I am hopeful, in the future, he will continue to be a strong, effective and progressive leader,” she added.

Weiner’s resignation comes three weeks after he accidentally sent a shot of his underwear-cover erection to thousands of Twitter followers, opening the door to a saucy cyber scandal known as “Weinergate.”

His final remarks were brief as he explained that he was resigning so he could patch things up with his pregnant wife Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. More than half of Weiner’s online dalliances took place in the 10 months that the two have been married. Abedin was noticeably absent from Thursday’s press conference.

“My wife and I [need] to heal from the damage I have caused,” Weiner said.

He also apologized for disappointing his Brooklyn constituency.

“There is no higher honor in a democracy than to be sent by your neighbors to represent them in the House of Representa­tives,” he said. “It is particularly humbling to represent this district because residents here are hard working, patriotic, opinionated and authentic. I had hoped to continue the work the people in this district elected me to do. Unfortunately, the distraction I have created has made that impossible.”

He left without taking questions.

Weiner has been on an emotional roller coaster ride ever since the Twitter scandal broke on May 27.

At first — when he claimed someone had hacked his Twitter account and sent the photo without his knowledge — Weiner joked about the lewd post. But as reporters dug deeper, the usually talkative Weiner became increasingly ashen faced and tight lipped.

Weiner was wiping away tears on June 6 when he admitted to not only sending the soft-core tweet, but to having several raunchy online affairs, one of which turned out to be with porn star Ginger Lee.

Yet Weiner appeared to have gotten some of his groove back on Thursday, giving reporters just a glimpse of the self-assured, playful neighborhood guy lovingly known as the “Midwood Mouth.

But his remarks were carefully choreographed; Weiner let nothing sidetrack him as he read his prepared remarks — including the barrage of lewd questions thrown at him by Howard Stern show staffer Benjy Bronk, who hid in the reporter huddle before stealing the congressman’s moment.

“Were you erect [in the picture]?” Bronk yelled before police escorted him out of the room. “Are you more than seven inches?” he added, an apparent reference to Weiner’s penis size.

Many of the seniors in the room booed when Weiner announced that he would leave office, but he left without stopping to talk to them. But one nonagenarian, Frances Freedman, button-holed Weiner in the hallway and told him to have “courage.

“We all make mistakes,” the 97-year-old told the former congressman.

Septuagenarian Margaret Sigman, a longtime center member, agreed with the sentiment that Weiner shouldn’t have stepped down.

“He represented the seniors very well here,” she said. “There’s no reason for him to resign as far as I’m concerned. He should get some help, and all of this should be between him and his wife.”

Yet center member Phillip Burzen wasn’t so sympathetic.

“I’m sorry I had to hear this guy apologize,” Burzen said. “It’s terrible what he did and he should have resigned long ago.”

Brooklynites were willing to forgive Weiner’s misdeeds at first, but that was before more information — and pictures — were released. Two days after Weiner came clean about his love of sexting and sending lewd photos of himself to young women, a NY1 poll showed that 56 percent of his constituents wanted him to stay put.

But a nationwide poll taken on Tuesday showed the reverse: more than 60 percent of Democrats wanted him to leave office. Even President Obama and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recommended he should pack his bags.

Weiner may be planning on resurrecting his political career down the line, yet images of the congressman clad only in a towel will be seared into the minds of residents for some time.

But all is not lost, according to Midwood resident Ben Nachmany. Another career for Weiner could be right around the corner.

“He should be in the porn business,” Nachmany said. “But, no matter what, he should leave us alone. We don’t want to keep explaining to our kids why our politicians are acting like porn stars.”

— with Aaron Short and Dan MacLeod

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
well, he found out what happens when you get too big for your britches.
June 17, 2011, 9:41 am
mark lieber from brooklyn says:
Where's this week's goose story? Damn Weiner.
June 17, 2011, 11:19 am
Mike Flynn from Born Park Slope says:
Why would the voters of NY 9 look to a Republican? They haven't a clue about the lives people are living in this district. That's the tragedy. The whole nation will be able to reflect on what it would be like to have a Republican in power and what it will mean to them. It will mean in my humble opinion a government at War with Middle and Working Class people. We get enough of that in Watertown, NY where a sham race for Mayor with Republican Councilman named Jeff Smith, who announced in February, but hasn’t been heard of since, is supposed to really challenge Mayor Jeff Graham. A Mayor who managed to find hefty10, 000, out of a surplus of 13.2 million to feed the hungry in the area but that won’t get everyone fed. He thinks he's a great guy and makes jokes about being a Progressive. Time for the Democratic Party to step up and make feeding Americans a priority. Locally, can anyone run as a 'Progressive Democrat against Mayor Graham, or does he keep a real race including, a Republican and a Progressive Democrat from happening this election. The town is supposedly non-contested, but is run by Republican and Tea Party types. I’m not optimistic with jokes about 'Progressives’ told daily on his radio show, 'Hotline,' a platform that Republican Councilman Jeff Smith doesn’t enjoy. How can this be fair?

Mike Flynn 'Middle-Class Mike'
Black River, NY 13612
June 17, 2011, 12:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Some of the people who have been shouting for him to reason after doing this, have never liked him in the first place. I wouldn't be surprised if they were most vocal in calling for him to resign even when it was hardly a crime. A number of the attacks in Weiner are real low even for those who are making them, and almost sound like the equivalent of attacking a blind person for not being able to see. It's very sad that just about nobody at the US Capitol stood up for him and mentioned where ther real issues are. I liked what he stood for and even met a few times in person. Finally, if any of you do sexting yourselves and condemn Weiner for it, you have no legitmacy to make such claims against him.
June 17, 2011, 3:46 pm
tupelo from windsor terrace says:
Wow, that sounds like ye without sin throw the first twitter.
June 17, 2011, 3:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off all, cut with the impersonations on whoever did that. From time to time, I have seen people who wrote letters to the editor and commented on news articles saying that Weiner should have stayed. If what he did was technically not a crime, he shouldn't have resigned. I am so tired about people telling politicians to be moral when most of them are probably not like that themselves. Some of the statements made on Weiner are real low even for them, and some of them have been found to be anti-Semitic. Just leave him alone. He has been through enough already. In the end, we all have a little Weiner in all of us.
June 17, 2011, 7:22 pm
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
so to hear that Joe Z, aka anthony weiner.
June 17, 2011, 8:21 pm
Natty Neighbor from Gee [Life's a] Beach says:
A little birdie said, “Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton Says Former Anthony Weiner Seat In Play In Breath Taking Interview On Vacant 9th Congressional District!!!”

The poor man must be hyperventilating or having a strange reaction to some medication.

Earth to Eaton, Earth to Eaton — There is no Brooklyn GOP. As the Brooklyn Republican “Chairman” you should have figured that out by now.

Go ahead, get together with
the “Chairman” of the Queens GOP make your plans for CD - 9.

Old saying — “Man plans, God laughs”; local politcal corollary — “ Brooklyn & Queens GOP Chairmen plan, everybody else laughs.”
June 17, 2011, 9:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I expect a big apology from you, tupleo35. This was very uncalled for. It's very sad that politicians who try to be populists are always grilled the most on this when those who are elitists are not. Elliot Spitzer was also a populist and he was constantly being grilled as much as Weiner just was on his scandal despite being cleared of all charges. I am just like Weiner in a way because nobody ever stands up for me despite how many I have stood up for.
June 18, 2011, 5:13 pm
Candy from says:
all he wanted is a little sucky sucky - you know, penis eaty sucky - it's not a krime!
June 18, 2011, 7:42 pm
tupelo35 from wimdsor terrace says:
Tal, my response was to a vile attack on me posted in your name, it has since been deleted, if you didn't send it, you have my apology, otherwise too bad.
June 19, 2011, 10:16 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The bottom line is just leave Weiner alone already. He has already resigned despite not committing an actual crime. I can give a whole list of things that might seem wrong morally, but are not crimes. There were even politicians that did even worse, but they got to keep their positions despite that. Just like Spitzer, nobody hated Weiner, they feared him. Overall, Weiner didn't turn his back on his district, it was his district that turnned their backs on him. I still find the pressure of his resignation to be from those who have something worse than him. If they aren't forced to resign, then he shouldn't.
June 19, 2011, 7:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I couldn't have written that email on June 19 at 8:13 pm because I was in my basement wondering why weiner had shriveled up. On a side note, Weiner's weiner is his own business. People heap abuse on him because he can't keep his pants on, well most people I know have similar issues except they are not in the spotlight so nobody calls them out on it. The point is that the issue has no effect on his job, so he should not resign but seek restitution from all those who harrassed him on what is a private matter. Second, I happen to know that he does not eat weiners, as most are made from pork which is not kosher. Why do people insist on clouding the issue when it has already been thoroughly debunked?
Aug. 12, 2011, 3:43 pm
Tal Barzicrazy from Pheasantville, NJ says:
I couldn't have written that email at 4:43 b/c I was whipping my weasel in Winnipeg. ty I won't allow that insult to stand. I demand satisfaction so you will immediately retract calling me crazy or you will find a bailiff issuing you a summons by th end of the day today. I am sitting in front of my computer awaiting your reply. I am not going to take anymore of this vile abuse at the hands of a smug cyclist.
June 23, 2012, 10:02 pm

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