The paper that helped to launch Anthony Weiner's campaign for New York City Mayor published a blistering editorial on Tuesday after it was revealed — again — that the married politician sent pictures of his naughty bits to young women online. In short, the New York Times, sounding a bit weary at this point, would like "serially evasive" Anthony Weiner to step out of the race.
We'll let the Times explain their heartbreak:
The timing here matters, as it would for any politician who violates the public’s trust and then asks to have it back. Things are different now, he insists. “This behavior is behind me,” he said again on Tuesday. He suggested that people should have known that his sexting was an unresolved problem well into 2012.
That’s ridiculous and speaks to a familiar but repellent pattern of misleading and evasion. It’s up to Mr. Weiner if he wants to keep running, to count on voters to forgive and forget and hand him the keys to City Hall. But he has already disqualified himself.
As for the candidate's decision to stay in the race, the paper virtually sighs with resignation: "To those who know his arrogance," the editorial board writes, "and have grown tired of the tawdry saga he has dragged the city into, this is not surprising."
The Times, as you might remember, published a long, long profile of Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin last spring. That piece more or less was the starting pistol to Weiner's mayoral campaign. But in the months that followed, the paper's relationship to Weiner the candidate, as opposed to Weiner the redemption seeker, was more testy. In June, the paper dug through interviews with the former congressman's staffers, friends, and family, to produce a less-flattering look at the candidate, now coming off as a bit of a diva. They followed up that take on the candidate with another negative piece, this time concentrating on the lives of the women involved in Weiner's original scandal. But today's editorial more or less indicates that the paper is done giving Weiner any more chances to prove himself. "Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City," they urge.
Even as the Times began to turn against Weiner, the candidate continued to poll well, even as his numbers began to slip (we'll have to wait a little while to see just how much of a hit he's taken in the polls from today's scandalmania). Weiner had previously tried to anticipate potential damage to his campaign with a future reveal of still-secret online escapades by admitting that there were more photos out there, but today's news — namely, that he was sending explicit pictures as recently as last year, well after he was supposed to have learned his lesson from the scandal that ended his congressional career, managed to catch many observers by surprise.
Meanwhile, some of his opponents have (as you'd expect) called for Weiner to step away from politics once again in the wake of today's news:
"I’m calling on Anthony to withdraw from this race — for the good of the city that I know he loves as much as all of us." -@BilldeBlasio— Erin Durkin (@erinmdurkin) July 23, 2013