May 24, 2013 by Nash Riggins
When former New York Representative Anthony Weiner emotionally (and reluctantly) confessed in 2011 to ‘accidentally’ tweeting some pretty lewd crotch-shots to a few women who weren’t his wife, a lot of pundits understandably thought his political career was over. After all, the move was pretty low even for a Congressman, and the cruel irony of his surname only added to his embarrassment. Consequently, the ambitious Mr Weiner presumably proved his critics right by fading gracelessly into a 2-year, hermit-like political hiatus. In just about any other country on Earth, that easily could have been the end of this intriguing political odyssey. Not in America.
Earlier this week, Anthony Weiner leapt back into the political fray by announcing his bid to become the next mayor of New York City – and the web has exploded with excitement. After all, who doesn’t love a good political comeback? Let’s have a quick history lesson…
1995: Marion Barr is sworn in as the mayor of Washington DC after being imprisoned 4 years previously for being filmed smoking crack. 2007: Senator David Vitter admits to frequenting Washington’s top brothel – 3 years later, he’s reelected to the US Senate. 2009: former Governor Mark Sandiford wins a Congressional seat by a country mile only months after going AWOL on his family and aides, who thought he was on an unusually long hiking trip. Where was he really? Living it up in Argentina with his saucy mistress. I could go on, but it’s probably not worth discussing the political and extramarital escapades of the likes of Bill Clinton or Newt Gingrich.
So we know this sort of thing is fairly common in US politics, but the question remains: if this kind of behaviour is inexcusable from an everyday member of society, why do we elect men like this to represent and govern our daily lives? I would suspect that it’s because, at the end of the day, they’re damn good at what they do (okay, minus Newt Gingrich). High office does crazy things to already imperfect individuals – and presumably like a majority of voters, I don’t particularly care what politicians choose to do with their reproductive organs in the wee hours of the morning, so long as they draft pieces of legislation during the working hours that’re in my best interest.
Bearing this in mind, it’s pretty fair to say that nobody’s more deserving of a successful political comeback than Anthony Weiner. After all, before his admittedly humorous fall from grace, the New York Congressman was on the fast track to becoming a major player in American politics – why? Because from day one, he never took shit off anybody.
When many politicians never bothered as to ascertain why a panel of old men in Washington were allowed to dictate what the nation’s women could and couldn’t do with their bodies (above), Mr Weiner publicly shamed them. When the Tea Party tried to keep 9/11 heroes from receiving proper healthcare, Anthony Weiner put them in their place. And let’s not forget this little gem, in which the good Congressman from New York grills an unassuming Scott Garrett on the fake document he’s just tried to pass over as evidence in a Congressional hearing. That’s the kind of man you want representing you in government – not just some bland ‘Joe millionaire’ without any fire in his belly (which isn’t to say the aspiring New York Mayor doesn’t have a jaw-dropping wad of cash sitting in the bank).
A couple of years ago Anthony Weiner made a foolish mistake that was motivated by his crotch – yet by no means should that be allowed to marginalise the fact that he was one hell of a politician. Hopefully the horny bugger learned a lesson or two whilst in hiding – otherwise we could be in store for another cringing tirade of effortless one-liners; however, assuming he doesn’t shoot himself in the foot yet again, it’ll be worth keeping a weather eye on the political storm that will soon be brewing in New York. After all, many of the nation’s most powerful men made their bones serving as the city’s mayor; therefore, Weiner’s successful political comeback could be the start of a long and influential career in shaping US policy. If he can stay away from Twitter, that is.