Back in 2011, at the height of Weiner’s [first] scandal, I published the following post on Huma Abedin:
CBS’s The Good Wife: Almost Too Good To Be True
The Good Wife’s wronged-political-wife extraordinaire, Alicia Florick, is one impressive lady. We have watched her help revitalize her prostitute-bedding husband’s seemingly doomed political career. We have seen her display amazing restraint. She didn’t go dashing into the arms and bed of her life-long love, and boss, Will Gardner until the very last episode of season 2, doing so only AFTER dumping her husband for having slept with her best friend. We have seen Alicia masterfully shield her children from the media, while garnering notoriety for herself as a winning lawyer in some high-profile legal battles. She has truly been The Good Wife; the type of woman any woman would admire, and that any man would crawl on his knees to keep (as was appropriately done by the aforementioned prostitute-bedding politician-husband).
The “Real” Good Wife: Ms. Huma Abedin
Now in a Mark Twain “truth is stranger than fiction” moment, we find ourselves watching a real-life “Good Wife”: Huma Abedin, spouse of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner. Finding out that your husband has been sending flirtatious emails and graphically explicit “sext” messages to several, apparently random, women has got to be painful. Even more so when you are an intensely private person (as she is reported to be) who is now forced to deal with her husband’s dirty laundry (well at least that which he kept on) in front of the whole world. Add to this whole sordid tale the facts that 1) Mr. Weiner and Ms. Abedin are supposed to be blissful newlyweds (married only 11 months), and that 2) the couple is expecting their first child, and you’re really just left feeling like this poor woman is getting royally shafted.
Not a single person could blame Abedin if she were to lock herself up in a room and not come out for the duration of this nightmare. But Abedin, senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has done no such thing. She has continued to perform her job with dignity and dedication, leaving with Ms. Clinton for an official visit to Africa this past Wednesday. And, while she did not appear next to her husband during his confessional press conference (as her fictional counterpart, Alicia Florrick, did), she has apparently stated that she is committed to her marriage, that she will not leave her husband, and that she wants him to continue working.
Huma Abedin is looking more dignified, classier and, unfortunately, more wronged by the minute than any fictional character could.
Fast-forward two years, and we are once again confronted with Weiner’s wiener escapades. What has changed is that his wife, Huma, is no longer looking as dignified as she did two years ago, at least not to me. Sally Quinn of The Washington Post says that Huma’s press-conference defense of her husband is a setback for women. I don’t agree. Huma Abedin does not represent me. For starters, my husband doesn’t sext pictures of his wiener to anyone, not even to me. I’m sure that the majority of women falls in this category.
Seriously now, Huma Abedin’s defense of her husband is only a setback to Huma Abedin. She no longer appears dignified because if it’s true that she knew that her husband continued his sexting practice after resigning from Congress and still agreed that he should run for mayor, she looks really bad. People will think that she is either too power hungry, too delusional to think that his “Sexting, Part II” could be kept under wraps, too wimpy to prevent him from running, or a combination of all three.
But what is worse is that a woman whose aura of dignity was enhanced by a reputation for intelligence and professional competence now looks really dumb. What was supposed to be a move to rescue Weiner’s campaign, has actually made him look worse. After all, what kind of loving husband would risk putting his wife through such public humiliation—again? What kind of honorable man would accept that she, allegedly an intensely private woman, would put herself under the highest and strictest levels of scrutiny in an attempt to save his [sorry] ass? It is now pathetically clear that he is a man who puts his political career—and, even more, his penis—above everything else.
A top-notch political operative would have foreseen this outcome and would not have held that press conference. Whether Huma Abedin is a good wife or not is not for me to judge. But I’ve already made up my mind about her political savvy, or lack of it.