Home > guest post > Huma’s Little Weiner Problem

Huma’s Little Weiner Problem

July 26, 2013

This is a guest post by my friend Laura Strausfeld.

As an unlicensed psychotherapist, here’s my take on why Huma Abedin is supporting her husband Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor:

It’s all about the kid.

Jordan Weiner is 19 months old. When he’s 8 or 9—or 5, and wearing google glasses—maybe he’ll google his name and read about his father’s penis. Either that, or one of his buddies at school may ask him about his father’s penis. Jordan might then ask his mommy and daddy about his father’s penis and they’ll tell him either 1) your daddy was a great politician, but had to resign from Congress because he admitted to showing people his penis, which we recommend you don’t do, especially when you’re a grownup and on twitter; or 2) your daddy was a great politician and ran a very close race for mayor—that’s right, your daddy was almost mayor of New York City!—but he lost because people said he showed people his penis and that’s none of anybody’s business.

Let’s look at this from Huma’s perspective. She’s got a child for a husband, with a weird sexual addiction that on the positive side, doesn’t appear to carry the threat of STDs. But her dilemma is not about her marriage. The marriage is over. What she cares about is Jordan. And this is where she’s really fucked. Whatever happens, Anthony will always be her child’s father.

That bears repeating. You’ve got a child you love more than anything in the world, will sacrifice anything for, and will always now be stigmatized as the son of a celebrity-sized asshole. What are your choices?

The best scenario for Huma is if Anthony becomes mayor. Then she can divorce his ass, get primary custody and protect her child from growing up listening to penis jokes about his loser father. There will be jokes, but at least they’ll be about the mayor’s penis. And with a whole lot of luck, they might even be about how his father’s penis was a lot smaller in the mind of the public than his policies.

Weiner won’t get my vote, however. And for that, I apologize to you, Jordan. You have my sympathy, Huma.

Categories: guest post
  1. Abe Kohen
    July 26, 2013 at 7:18 am

    His problem wasn’t showing off his penis. His problem was showing off his weiner. Jordan will probably want to change his surname at some time in the future.

  2. Michael Paul Goldenberg
    July 26, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Judgmental and smug much? Only in this country can we get that special blend of puritanical indignation and utter lack of empathy. Does this guy have a problem? Looks like it. But why exactly folks like you are reveling in it, projecting into his marriage, his kid’s FUTURE, etc., eludes me. He’s a politician. Don’t like him? Want his career over? You’re going to get your wish. But there’s not a word in your piece about his politics, so that doesn’t quite seem to be your issue. And if not, then WHY is this SO important for you?

    I could try to get you to look at yourself, but I doubt you’re interested in or capable of doing so. I do have to wonder why you needed this particular forum to spout off on this particular topic. And why you were given space to do so in a blog that is supposed to at least marginally deal with “quantitative issues.” Maybe y’all aren’t happy with the size of his penis?

    • Abe Kohen
      July 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Actually she twice alluded to the weiner being “a great politician.” I could not agree less with that assessment, and I hope my fellow New Yorkers don’t vote for the weiner, nor the spitzer. At least Spitzer was a good governor, but the cardinal sin in politics is not sex, but getting caught.

      • July 26, 2013 at 10:16 am

        I don’t agree that it is about getting caught.

        Bill Clinton was certainly caught in a sex scandal, and although everyone was amused, it didn’t do much to harm his standing as a politician. Weiner’s behavior is a mix of compulsion and stupidity – he surely knew that sending around digital photos of his genitals would damage his reputation, but he did it anyway. Spitzer could have gotten away with mere sex, and might have gotten away with mere hypocrisy, but the icing on the cake was the hint that he might have used public funds to pay for it (although prosecutors said they did not find evidence of that). A politician can get caught having an affair, but compulsive behavior is another matter.

      • Michael Paul Goldenberg
        July 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        Saying he’s a great politician isn’t saying a word about his actual politics. Lots of great politicians are purveyors of horrible policies, but very good at getting themselves elected, getting their agendas passed, etc. So we don’t come away knowing what, if anything, the author things of Weiner’s political ideas. Not having been a New Yorker for 21 years now, I always hope to get a bit more insight into what sorts of things a mayoral candidate has about, oh, say, public education (coming on the heels of the disaster that Bloomberg has been for schools, other than those owned by his cronies). Instead, I come here and rather than some sort of insightful analysis grounded in, you know, “quantitative issues,” I find a blue-nosed rant about someone’s penis. How quaint. And utterly meaningless. It’s hard to decide what is more ridiculous: Anthony Weiner’s sexting or the amount of microanalysis and schadenfreude irate people offer up to “prove” that someone who exposes himself (even in semi-private) is a very bad person. Feh.

  3. Iain
    July 26, 2013 at 8:22 am

    no-one will remember who anthony weiner was in 8 years time, so the chances of jordan’s future class mates hearing about this are minimal.

  4. July 26, 2013 at 10:05 am

    It’s hard for me to buy this explanation in light of the history. Huma’s pregnancy was announced at just about the moment when the first scandal broke. It seems unlikely that she was not aware that there was a problem before she became pregnant. If she was aware earlier, then there had to be some other reason why she did not get out of the marriage, at least at that time.

    • james knope
      July 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I think it’s incredibly presumptuous and narrow-minded to say that this sort of indiscretion is the end of a relationship.

  5. July 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

    What I don’t get about this, is how his first scandal didn’t end his political career. If I remember correctly, those particular pictures weren’t sent consensually, and when confronted by them, he made up a series of ridiculous excuses until the proof overwhelmed him.

    Then, after admitting he had a problem, he doesn’t seem to have done anything to address it, which, y’know, okay that’s his right, but then decided to re-enter public life anyway, when he HAS to know this is (ahem) going to emerge to humiliate him and his family once more.

    So, regardless of his favored policies, here’s a guy who (1) breaks some really fundamental social norms to sexually harass a young woman, (2) can’t ‘fess up to it like an adult, (3) issues fake apologies, and (4) has so little self-awareness that he thinks his uncorrected behavior won’t bite him in the butt when he subjects himself to massive media scrutiny.

    At that point, I no longer care about policies or platforms. You’ve got a guy with an uncontrollable obsession, an out of control ego, and absolutely horrific judgment. Two of those things are probably necessary conditions to run for Mayor of New York City, but the third means your administration would be a complete mess.

    I have sympathy for Anthony Weiner’s family, and – to the extent he’s sincere about fixing the mess he’s made of his life one way or another – for Weiner himself. But that doesn’t mean he has the judgment to be dogcatcher, much less administer a city of 8 million people.

  6. July 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I appreciate your feminine take on this. My masculine take was that by sticking by this sycophant, for whatever reason, she was choosing the same course of shadow denial. Who knows, but I had no idea they had a kid – yikes, sad. The sooner Huma can get that kid here, the better: http://www.boystomen.org
    And to Michael Paul Goldenberg’s bitching above, lighten up. Character transparency IS a quantitative issue, despite that fact that you might not see it yet. Psychopath’s like Weiner and Spitzer provide rare case studies in how to facilitate it, and what it might (or might not) mean to us and future generations. Thanks to Laura and Cathy for having the guts and clarity to dive in to all aspects of the human experience.

    • Michael Paul Goldenberg
      July 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Faustomics: I don’t live in NYC any more. I won’t have a vote. I don’t know enough about Weiner’s political ideas to know if I might have cast one for him. And I sure as hell didn’t learn anything from reading this pinched rant (or your comment) to help me decide if his sexual issues are costing the city a potentially effective mayor or not.

      I do wonder where all the armchair psychology degrees are coming from these days. University of Phoenix, perhaps, or maybe the Close-Cover-Before-Striking Institute for Psychoanalysis and Quantum Mechanics. Whatever. Between this and the predictable vamping on Woody Allen for “marrying his step-daughter’ (never mind that he was never married to her adopted mother, that he was never her father in any legal sense, that his current wife wasn’t the actual daughter of either Mia Farrow or Andre Previn, and most particularly never mind that Allen and his wife/companion of now 21 years appear to have “made it” to their mutual happiness (that never counts; priggishness rules)), it’s a field day for the usual moralistic suspects.

      Sorry if my pointing that out takes a bit of starch out of the universal hate chorus for Weiner. And if doing so is “bitching” (but of course, writing the original piece is what? Subtle intellectual probing?) I guess I can live with your epithets. Don’t mind that I didn’t endorse Weiner as either a pol or a person. I’m just not invested in stomping on his balls in public, in berating his wife for not doing what some bloggers think she SHOULD do (as if they know precisely what that is), etc. Tell me the guy did bad things politically and I’ll be happy he isn’t getting elected. Otherwise, this is another dumb, peculiarly American snooze-fest of prurience.

  7. David
    July 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    That chick knows exactly who she married. She’s in it for her career not love. That’s why she’s so “forgiving”.

  8. mathematrucker
    July 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Indeed: page out of Hillary’s book.

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