Here's one early way to tell how serious Hillary Clinton is about running for president in 2016: She's treading lightly with her and her husband's public support of Anthony Weiner in his run for mayor ahead of this September's primary. And if you believe The New York Post's Page Six, Hillary and Bill won't be supporting Weiner at all, even though his wife has been Hillary's right-hand woman for years. "The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it's a reminder of Bill's scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and it isn't helpful to Hillary's hopes for 2016," an unnamed "Democratic source" told The Post.
Of course, Weiner has said exactly the opposite in his public apology tour over the last month: "We've stayed in touch, and their whole family has been remarkably supportive of ours," Weiner told the local station NY1. And when asked about whether the power couple planned to express publicly that they "would not pick sides in the primary," longtime Clinton advisor and PR man Philippe Reines told Politico that such a lack of enthusiasm for Weiner "doesn't sound even remotely legitimate."
So, yes, things are a little touchy, and you may not exactly see the Clintons out on the stump for their family friend — they've got ties to other candidates as well. But, yes, Weiner and Bill Clinton's respective sex scandals are similar enough, and Hillary knows that anything seen as a political endorsement now, when she's still in diplomat-turned-speaker mode, will certainly get a closer look should she throw her hat in for 2016.
But, no, it doesn't make that much sense to snub Weiner, whose wife Huma has worked alongside Hillary since she was a White House intern in 1996 and is often seen as a kind of second daughter to the Clintons. And even The Post's source believes that if Hillary becomes president, Huma will be right by her side. "Abedin is still on the Clintons' payroll although she isn't working at the Clinton Foundation," Page Six reports. Their source adds: "The Clintons love Huma. She has a job for life, no matter how much of an embarrassment her husband is."
Before you dismiss Page Six entirely, they've actually been pretty solid with their Weiner scoops on the comeback trail, forecasting that New York Times Magazine tell-all months in advance. And in March, they reported that "Weiner has recently been telling pals that 'when Hillary is president,' he will get his revenge." A job for Huma might be that type of revenge — and it might be far out enough for everyone to forget that the Clintons didn't actively support Weiner for mayor. There's a campaign finance deadline this week, so expect to hear more about how that comeback trail's gold paving is going so far.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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