Standing before a federal judge Monday morning, Anthony Weiner sobbed as he faced sentencing for sexting a 15-year-old girl.
He had hit rock bottom, he told the judge. He was making amends to his wife, Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin, and their 5-year-old son Jordan. Public approbation no longer mattered to him, nor did his now-ruined political career nor his public reputation. He was once mentally diseased, but since his arrest in May by the FBI, no more.
The judge didn’t buy it, sentencing Weiner to 21 months in prison. It wasn’t for lack of trying on Weiner’s part though.
“I focus on how I live my new, smaller, healthier life one day at a time,” Weiner said. “I was a very sick man for a very long time. I have a disease but no excuse.”
How long we, the beleaguered public, have been hearing this, and how delusional of Weiner to think a judge, too, would believe him.
His years-long offend-repent-re-offend-really-repent cycle has only advanced over the years, the narrative becoming ever more sordid, his wife complicit in foisting him upon us and our politics.
We’ve been living with this pathetic soap opera for eight years now, when Weiner was forced to resign from Congress after news broke he’d been sexting women around the country, and had sent a bulging crotch shot to a 21-year-old college student.
Just 13 months later, he, new wife Abedin and their six-month-old son sat for a soft-focus People magazine cover story.
“I really do feel like a very, very different person,” Weiner said, offering pre-packaged quotes about his political aspirations.
“I’m very happy in my present life. The only next dramatic steps I’m planning on taking are Jordan’s first.”
Abedin, too, avoided politics and focused on their newfound, idyllic domesticity. “It took a lot of work to get to where we are today, but I want people to know we’re a normal family,” she said. “Anthony has spent every day since [the scandal] trying to be the best dad and husband he can be.”
The magazine noted, unironically, that Weiner did all the dirty laundry.
“I’m proud to be married to him,” Abedin said.
Less than one year later, in April 2013, the couple sat for an extensive and sympathetic interview with The New York Times Magazine, their political selves slightly more transparent. They weren’t using their baby son as a political shield, they said; they allowed him to be photographed merely to minimize paparazzi presence outside…