For Dems, Weiner's Wife Offers Best Hope of Getting Him to Resign

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His House colleagues want him to go, but the congressman won't leave unless Huma Abedin says so

Huma Abedin - Reuters - banner.jpg

House Democrats emerged from a closed-door meeting on Tuesday saying they wanted Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to resign, but they conceded that their best strategy for getting to that point is hoping that Weiner's wife will persuade him to go.

(RELATED: Obama on Weiner -- 'I Would Resign')

"We're hearing he might resign in a couple of days," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.). "He's waiting for his wife to come home. That's what we're hearing from his friends."

(PICTURES: Who is Huma Abedin?)

When Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was asked in a news conference if the caucus had decided to take action against Weiner for his lurid online activities--such as stripping him of his committees--he said, "there's been no decision on that."

(RELATED: List of Democrats Calling for Weiner to Resign)

Other lawmakers echoed that there was no such decision made at the meeting.

But a senior Democratic aide said there was much anticipation expressed by members--if not desperation--that Weiner might be talked into resigning by his wife, Huma Abedin, later this week.

Weiner on Monday requested and was given a two-week leave of absence from his House duties. Through a publicist, he has said he will spend the time getting professional treatment, which he says will help him make the best decision for himself, his family, and his constituents.

But Weiner's case certainly wasn't helped when President Obama told NBC on Monday that he would resign if he were Weiner. The president joined a growing chorus of voices including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats who also have said he should go.

On top of that, the House Ethics Committee is looking into Weiner's activities. And on Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner answered "yes" to reporters when he was asked if Weiner should resign.

Several Democrats leaving Tuesday's caucus meeting, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) declined to join those calling for Weiner to resign. But among those who did was Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) who said, "I think we should send a strong message to him that he should resign." He did not say how.

Image credit: Reuters

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Billy House

Bill House is a staff writer (Congress) for National Journal.

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