Baldwin could be winner in Weiner scandal

Anthony Weiner, the Congressman embroiled in the Twitter sex scandal, yesterday faced mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats to resign, as the lewdest picture yet hit the internet, this one purporting to display his private parts, aroused and unconcealed.

At the same time, a new and poignant dimension has emerged with news that Huma Abedin, Mr Weiner's wife of just a year and a close aide of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is in the early stages of pregnancy.

And not a single prominent Democrat has uttered a word in the Congressman's support since the scandal erupted last week. Instead, two former chairmen of the party's National Committee, as well as his influential colleague, Allyson Schwartz, in charge of recruiting Democratic candidates, have called on him to step down.

Harry Reid, Senate majority leader and the most powerful Democrat on Capitol Hill, has cut Mr Weiner loose, and Nancy Pelosi, the party's leader in the House, has urged a full-scale ethics investigation to establish whether his virtual relationships with six women broke Congressional rules, for instance, whether he used government email for some of his racy communications.

Even if he does not resign, Mr Weiner's career is hanging by a thread. Speculation is growing that his Brooklyn seat could disappear at the next election, one of the two that New York state must lose as a result of the 2010 census.

His hopes of succeeding Michael Bloomberg as New York mayor are also in ruins. In yet another celebrity twist to the affair, the actor Alec Baldwin has hinted he might run. But as Baldwin noted yesterday, again on Twitter: "It's a long way till November 2013."

But Mr Weiner seems determined to tough things out, reiterating yesterday that he does not plan to resign, insisting he has broken no laws. It also helps that the House is not in session. But one close associate reported him as "conflicted", and such is the anger within his own party that the pressure may prove irresistible.

For one thing, while the Congressman's ability and his readiness to get in the ring with Republicans are admired and appreciated by colleagues, he seems to have few friends.

In political terms, Democratic leaders are furious at how the scandal dominates the headlines to the exclusion of virtually all else, at the very moment when they seemed to have Republicans on the ropes over the latter's controversial proposals to reform Medicare.

Also fuelling those headlines has been speculation about the future of his marriage. News that his wife was pregnant was first reported on Wednesday evening by The New York Times, while she was out of the country, accompanying Ms Clinton on a four-country tour of Africa.

Even before that, Ms Abedin, daughter of an Indian father and Pakistani mother, had been attracting huge media attention as Washington's latest humiliated political wife, exotic, well-connected and mysterious.

Mr Weiner insists that the couple will stay together, but Ms Abedin was notably absent when her husband confessed all in a circus-like news conference at a Manhattan hotel on Monday. Thus far she has made no public comment on the scandal.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain