It's a dim memory now, but in 2011, when Anthony Weiner was on the way down, he got a little credit for taking the hits himself. He didn't bring his wife, Huma Abedin (who, to be fair, was working at the State Department at the time and pretty busy with her traveling), to his apology press conference. There were no Spitzer-esque shots of Abedin frowning while her husband admitted how he'd betrayed her.
"Some have suggested that Ms. Abedin, 35, represents a new generation of wives who feel less obligation to present a supportive face to the public when their husbands misbehave," wrote Carolyn Ryan in the New York Times.
Not so much. At his press conference today, after starting to acknowledge that there had been a "difficult time" in his marriage but it was totally over, Weiner gave the microphone to ... Huma Abedin.
"When we faced this publicly two years ago," said Abedin, "it was the beginning of a time in our marriage that was very difficult. And it took us a very long time to get through it."
How long a time? Around Christmas 2011, Abedin gave birth to her son. In August 2012, she cooperated with the cute People item I linked earlier today.
"It took a lot of work to get to where are are today, but I want people to know we're a normal family," says Abedin, 37.
"Anthony has spent every day since [the scandal] trying to be the best dad and husband he can be," she says of her husband, who does all the laundry. "I'm proud to be married to him."
But today, after she finished speaking, Weiner took questions and confirmed the main accusation of the Dirty's report on his newer sex chats. He'd last been in touch with the newly revealed 22-year-old "last summer." After his kid was born, around the time he and his wife were spinning a story about the hard times stopping when he resigned.
One theory of "Weinergate" goes that the guy could have survived the scandal had he come clean early. After all, he never actually cheated on his wife. Instead, Weiner did a round of media interviews, lying his face off about how he might have been "hacked," maybe by al-Qaida (that felt like a joke). The press turned on him because the press doesn't like being lied to.
It still doesn't.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.