Weiner Gets "Professional Treatment" As Democrats Squeeze Him Out

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 11 2011 3:26 PM

Weiner Gets "Professional Treatment" As Democrats Squeeze Him Out

We're at that stage of the scandal: Entering "treatment," without seeing what the treatment is for. The statement from Anthony Weiner's office:

Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person. In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well. Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

All right. What did Weiner say on Monday?

This is not something that can be treated away; this is my own personal mistake.

A "leave of absence" means he's not resigning and Democrats will continue 1) being asked if they want him out and 2) saying yes. His leader in the House and the chairwoman of his party have now called for him to go , and it's hard to imagine either statement coming if the White House hadn't decided to wish Weiner into the cornfield.

What happened in the last 24 hours to change this? Fox News, which had a reporter on scene with a 17-year old woman who had been contacted by Weiner, was there when police arrived at her house to question her about it. The age of consent in Delaware is 16, and the contact allegedly happened two months ago. But we don't know what the contact was. Weiner's office is saying it was not indecent , but not releasing the DMs to reporters who've asked. (I have only very recently asked myself. I'm very, very wary about the privacy of this woman.)

We don't know much about the 17-year old. We do know that Weiner did not "know the ages of the women" he contacted, and that the inappropriate contacts -- according to him -- only extended to six people. That was enough to make this story go nuclear last night, with TV networks running the bare details in a way that looked totally unsurvivable.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The NFL Has No Business Punishing Players for Off-Field Conduct. Leave That to the Teams.

Meet the Allies the U.S. Won’t Admit It Needs in Its Fight Against ISIS

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Medical Examiner

How to Stop Ebola

Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.

History

America in Africa

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

New GOP Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Wealth and Celebrity Are Tricks to Disguise Her Socialism

Why the Byzantine Hiring Process at Universities Drives Academics Batty

Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM The Fascinating Origins of Savannah, Georgia’s Distinctive Typeface
  News & Politics
History
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM America in Africa The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Education
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM Why Your Cousin With a Ph.D. Is a Basket Case  Understanding the Byzantine hiring process that drives academics up the wall.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 23 2014 11:37 PM How to Stop Ebola Could survivors safely care for the infected?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?