(With sincere apologies to both Howard Cosell and Smokin’ Joe Frazier.)
And so, as he flies the blue lady of the skies into the sunset, we say ‘Aloha, Five O’Clock Weiner.” Let me remind you that the Weblog is open 24 hours a day for your dancing and dining pleasure.
The New York Post reports:
Randy Rep. Anthony Weiner has finally stepped down.
After informing House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other key party leaders of his decision, Weiner made the announcement this afternoon during a news conference in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
“Today, I’m announcing my resignation from Congress,” he said.
Several hecklers shouted at Weiner — with one calling him a “pervert” — during the brief announcement.
Weiner, 46, had called Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, at the White House picnic last night and told them of his decision, a Democratic Party leadership aide said.
Video of the resignation, found via Ironic Surrealism blog, whose blog name sums up the whole affair nicely:
Weasel Zippers notes that, of course, “Reuters Labels Weiner A ‘Republican’ After He Resigns…”
Update: Jim Geraghty suggests that as disasters go, this one was oddly well played by Weiner:
The press conference was every bit the disaster one would expect; off-color questions from Howard Stern’s followers loudly and frequently interrupted Weiner’s statement.
On MSNBC, anchor Tamara Hall said, with little sense of irony, that Weiner was “trying to preserve some sense of dignity and pride in his resignation.”
Chuck Todd seemed appalled and befuddled by what he had just witnessed, asking why Weiner felt the need to hold this press conference. “He knew this was going to be a circus. He knew Howard Stern’s guys would be there.”
Precisely, I suspect. One of the few things that could spur sympathy in a viewer is watching Weiner get berated with obscene questions as he attempts to do what all of his critics have been demanding. If Weiner envisions a comeback someday – does anyone doubt he is narcissistic enough to envision this? — a bit of sympathy at this moment may soften the public’s memory of him until he reemerges, “cured” and eager for redemption. Mind you, Eliot Spitzer now hosts a television show; Marion Barry returned as mayor of Washington, D.C.; Barney Frank continues to serve in Congress, Wilbur Mills survived being caught with a stripper; and there are plenty of other examples of politicians returning for a political second life after scandal.
One of the MSNBC analysts wondered about Weiner running for governor of New York someday. It will be hard for any future opponent to argue that he is morally unfit to occupy the office that Eliot Spitzer once held.
Not to mention the broadcasting seat currently held by Spitzer. One way or another where redemption for the Ruling Class is but “therapy” and an Oprah-style interview away, we’ve certainly not seen the last of Anthony Weiner. He certainly has the legacy media’s sympathy, which he’ll more than likely build on, going forward.