…Anthony Weiner, that is (sorry former Express colleagues).
After Congressman Anthony Weiner committed the most comically ironic sexual scandal in history by posting his Congressional member on the twittersphere, Weiner’s making a comeback (or has ‘yet to decide’)!
The guy who gave some of the most rousing House floor speeches in recent memory has pretty much decided he’s running for New York City mayor. He hasn’t made it “official” yet, but he activated a new twitter account (@anthonyweiner), and with his first tweet released a 64 point plan on how to improve New York City, charmingly called “Keys to the City.”
And personally, ‘I’ve got Wood for Weiner’ is the perfect campaign slogan. So basically, yeah, the dude is running. You don’t make a 64 point plan on anything just for shits and giggles. Not to mention the fact he has been doing TV interviews on local NYC networks, where he even suggested there might be more pictures of his schvantz on the interwebs.
“If reporters want to go try to find more, I can’t say that they’re not going to be able to find another picture, or find another … person who may want to come out on their own,” Weiner told RNN-TV. “But I’m not going to contribute to that. The basics of the story are not gonna change.”
While he is certainly no shoe-in to win the office, I have to think he’s got a pretty decent shot at it, especially considering Weinergate was pretty tame when it comes to political sex scandals.
So that got me thinking, what allows some politicians to make comebacks after sex scandals while others are run out of office never to return, or attempt comebacks to no avail? Let’s take a look at a few.
The obvious one that comes to mind is our good friend Bill Clinton. While he didn’t necessarily make a ‘comeback’ because he couldn’t run again, he’s certainly rebuilt his reputation with the Clinton Global Initiative and generally just being an awesome dude.
We’re also in the midst of watching another possible comeback, though. Former Governor Mark “Appalachian Trail” Sanford is in a heated campaign against Stephen Colbert’s sister in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district. Now, we should all know his story. He disappeared while “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” but was actually with his mistress in Argentina. Now he’s divorced from his wife and engaged to the Argentine mistress. He tried to explain himself as a man hopelessly in love, and was with the wrong person. Apparently that worked for him because he won the Republican primary for the seat. But low and behold, he is still an idiot because he apparently violated a restraining order and trespassed on his ex-wifes property back in January and now the Republican party has stopped funding his campaign.
Barney Frank came back from a scandal. The dude had a freakin’ male escort living in his house! That wasn’t even the real scandal, though. Ole’ Barney used his Congressional status to get the escort out of 33 parking tickets. Not to mention this was back when being openly gay was still very much a taboo. Thankfully, he was from the great state of Massachusetts, and was elected 12 more times.
Herman Cain (remember him?!), he had a sex scandal. Unfortunately for him and his awesome Pokemon 2000 references, his indiscretions did him in, politically at least. Now he has a pretty sweet gig in a recurring sketch on The Daily Show.
He wasn’t the only GOP candidate from 2012 with an adultery problem. Newt Gingrich left his sick wife for his mistress….TWICE! And I believe now he’s married to a plastic sex doll?
How about women? How come we never hear about women in office being involved in sex scandals? Maybe because men in power are sexy to women while women in power are terrifying to men? Who truly knows. The New York Times wrote a great article about it when Weinergate first broke. But there HAVE been cases of women in politics getting their hands, among other things, dirty.
Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth of Idaho had a six year affair with a married man. This was discovered AFTER she lumped a Democratic opponent in with Bill Clinton shortly after the Lewinsky scandal. (A hypocritical politician? You don’t say?!) Anyway, she was able to weather the storm and was reelected.
So what makes all these instances so different? Why can some people come out unscathed (but maybe with a few unwanted bumps) while other cannot? I think it has to do with a person’s ability to do their job.
Bill Clinton and Barney Frank got shit done. So who really cares what they did on their own time? Herman Cain…yeah not so much. I have that same feeling about Anthony Weiner. He was a liberal bastion in the House and was one of the few Congressman with an actual backbone when it came to facing Republicans (there’s a penis joke in there somewhere).
So I’m all for him making his comeback. We should really all hop on the Weiner Wagon. It might be a bumpy ride, and your butt might be sore afterward, but how can you know you don’t like it if you don’t give it a try?
Finally, I’ll leave you with my personal favorite Weiner moment:
Sex Scandal Honorable Mentions: Jon Edwards, John F. Kennedy, Eliot Spitzer, Thomas Jefferson