There’s mixed reaction on whether Anthony Weiner will survive politically after admitting Monday to sending lewd photos to women over the Internet and lying about it.
The New York Democrat, who has represented New York’s 9th congressional district since 1999, first came under fire over Memorial Day weekend when a photo of man’s bulging underwear appeared on Weiner’s Twitter account. He vowed not to resign over the affair Monday.
One observer of New York politics said he doesn’t think this ends Weiner’s career.
“This is probably not a death blow to Weiner’s chances of holding on to his House seat or even his shot at being mayor: New Yorkers are pretty forgiving about these kinds of things,” NYU political science professor Patrick Egan told The Daily Caller. “But in the short term it probably hurts his fundraising.”
In a bizarre press conference hastily called by Weiner, the congressman, after repeatedly claiming he was the victim of a hacker, fessed up to accidentally sending inappropriate photos. He also apologized for sending it to a college-aged woman and said he’s not resigning over it.
“Ultimately, Anthony and his constituents will make a judgment about his future,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who also chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Continued Israel: “Congressman Anthony Weiner engaged in a deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family, and the House,”
Along with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Israel called for an ethics investigation to determine if Weiner violated any rules of laws.
“I am deeply disappointed and saddened about this situation; for Anthony’s wife, Huma, his family, his staff and his constituents,” Pelosi said.
Others say he’s done.
“Congressman Weiner’s political career may well be over,” said Republican Ron Christie. “First the lewd image, then his anger-fueled media encounters have not made him an endearing nor sympathetic figure. Toss in more tweets to a porn star and his lack of certitude about the picture’s authenticity may well have many in New York City questioning his.”
Whether he recovers or not, full-rehabilitation in the public sphere may take some time.
“He needs to have a multi-year commitment to a comeback strategy,” Democratic operative Chris Lehane told The Huffington Post. “I’d tell him that you have to realize it will take you multiple years to get back to the position you were in just a week ago.”
Amy Kremer, the chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, analyzed his chances of survival this way to Politico: “Weiner is cooked! His next tweet should be his resignation!”