COMMENTARY | Congressman Anthony Weiner held a press conference Thursday to announce his resignation from office. Since graduation from State University of New York, Weiner has worked in various aspects of New York politics. According to CNN, he was first elected to the House in 1998 and has been a strong liberal voice for the Democratic 9th district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens. At only 46, it is probably safe to say that regardless of this scandal, he is not done with politics. Why he took the path he did is hard to understand, though. Not only was he on a fast track career-wise, he was not unfamiliar with social networking. Throughout his career, he used it to his advantage; unfortunately, he failed to see the danger signs.
While Weiner was certainly not the first politician to be brought to this point due to his sexual behavior, Weiner was Twitter's first political casualty. Politicians will use his mistakes as a guide for what not to do. Overall, though, his actions over the past weeks were confusing. It was as if he dared the public to discover his secrets and then followed it up with a string of lies and angry tirades to seal his fate.
As the possible front-runner to succeed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his lewd behavior and the lies are a real blow to his supporters.
Speech instead of letter
Weiner stepped to the podium to deliver his resignation before a packed room. He could have simply turned in a letter of resignation and quietly faded into the background, but that is not his style. Instead, he delivered a short speech covering his background and motivations for getting into politics and several apologies. When he officially stated his resignation, the crowd cheered and the hecklers started their taunts. The anger in the room was a surprising addition to this press conference. But Weiner didn't seem too ruffled by it; after all, that is how he often behaved.
To be continued?
Another surprise to the brief public address was Weiner's statement that he hopes to be able to continue the work he was elected to do. I was not the only one who took this as a possible intro to something new; the commentators immediately after his announcement mentioned this interesting twist.
Regardless of this statement, the congressman said, "Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created" has made it "impossible" to continue his work in Congress. The nod he made to continuing in some capacity has many wondering what his plans ultimately will include. He has been in politics a long time, and will most likely attempt to continue.