The Clinton-Intimates-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 29 2013 11:28 AM

The Clinton-Intimates-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

81230970
She knows, but she won't tell.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press

The Internet is very angry, understandably so, about the lede of Maureen Dowd's latest column. Attempting to explain why Huma Abedin is sticking with her husband as he careens from disgrace to disgrace, Dowd offers that "Huma was raised in Saudi Arabia, where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet." That's the sort of prose that might be cut by an editor at Taki's Magazine; it actually echoes what Rush Limbaugh's been saying, which is not the sort of argument one usually strives for.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

I don't think that's the most interesting part of the column. That part comes when Dowd lets friends of the Clintons—recall that Bill Clinton officiated the Weiner-Abedin wedding—dish about the scandal's blowback.

They love Huma, but the Clintons, now showcasing philanthropy and public service preparatory to Hillary’s 2016 run, are not happy about getting dragged into the lewd spectacle that is a low-budget movie version of their masterpiece.
The former president is distancing himself, one associate said, noting, “He’s not getting anywhere near that grenade.”
Huma’s friends are “slapping-my-forehead astounded,” as one put it.
Advertisement

We know that Dowd's sources in Clintonworld are real, yet they refuse to name themselves even to make the most glancing attacks on the Weiner-Abedins. This is the pattern: Clinton "associates" and "intimates" will talk about the disgrace being brought on the enterprise, but you can't use their names. Karen Tumulty's and Jason Horowitz's excellent piece about Abedin had the same problem, albeit with better quotes.

Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has continued to aggressively work Clinton’s circle — to the annoyance of some — seeking support and financial contributions for Weiner’s mayoral bid.
“People like Huma, but they saw her trading on the Hillary card and resented it. But that didn’t mean they didn’t show up” for Weiner, said a Clinton intimate, one of several who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The chatter was, if you wanted to stay in Hillary’s good graces, you answer the call from Huma.”

And in the New York Post, Fred Dicker:

“The Clintons are pissed off that Weiner’s campaign is saying that Huma is just like Hillary,’’ said the source. “How dare they compare Huma with Hillary? Hillary was the first lady. Hillary was a senator. She was secretary of state.” ... Meanwhile, at least one prominent Hillary Rodham Clinton political operative was described as close to “going public’’ with a sharp criticism of Weiner — in order to send the message that the Clintons, fearing longtime damage to Hillary, want him out of the mayor’s race.

The anonymous Clintonites are dealing damage to Weiner the way they once built up him and his wife. They're letting the word get out that these people are really dreadful, but they're not putting their names behind the charges. It's like a Trollope novel, but with lobbyists.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t Be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 20 2014 3:12 PM Terror Next Door Prudie advises a letter writer whose husband is dangerously, violently obsessed with the neighbors.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.