Following criticism that Democratic party leaders had waited too long to call for a resignation from New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, Roll Call reports that the statements from yesterday came after days of behind-the-scenes attempt to persuade Weiner to step down.
According to Roll Call, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi first thought Weiner needed to resign after his Monday press conference (during which he came clean after a period of lying and question-dodging) went awry. Weiner had called Pelosi just prior to taking the stage to field questions from reporters, and she told him he needed to tell the truth before they could determine the next step.
After days of applied pressure, party leaders individually called Weiner on Saturday morning to give him one final chance to step down before the party would go into attack mode. He refused.
Weiner did propose a leave of absence, during which he would seek “professional help,” but Pelosi told him that wouldn’t be good enough. Weiner also hinted at a possible resignation after the leave, but that wouldn’t have been satisfactory to top Democrats either.
By the time news broke that Weiner had been communicating online with a female high school student from Delaware, the decision to send out party leaders to call for resignation was “already made,” a Democratic aide told Roll Call.
Though Weiner hasn’t responded to the statements yesterday from Pelosi, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel, he hasn’t shown any indication that he plans to resign.
Roll Call also reports that Weiner isn’t an easy Member to push out of office. He’s done nothing illegal or explicitly against House rules (though an ethics investigation has been called for). And he isn’t dependent on the party for campaign money; he has his own large network of donors.