Against reams of advice from appalled voters and columnists, Anthony Weiner never dropped out of the New York mayoral race, instead sinking to new lows each week, and after getting less than 5 percent of the vote, ultimately exiting the race on Tuesday night like a drunk starlet, flipping off cameras from the backeseat of a car. This was the best possible outcome for America.
The Atlantic Wire, unlike so many others, insisted that Anthony Weiner should stay in the race, even as a new sexter revealed the Democrat had been sexting strangers a year after he quit Congress. Sure, it was embarrassing to have Weiner around as a symbol of New York and American democracy. But if Weiner had quit the race early, before voters had the chance to offer total rejection, he would have been able to tell himself that he still had a future in elected office. Which is exactly what happened this time — Weiner quit Congress amid his sexting scandal in 2011, instead of being voted out, giving him space to imagine the voters wouldn't be nearly as punitive as Nancy Pelosi.
All sorts of political careers and plots are fueled by imagination. Reality is much harder, and once it got underway, Weiner's mayoral campaign devolved from a curiosity to a horror show. His wife, Huma Abedin, stood by his side in late July when new sexts came to light. But she disappeared from the campaign trail when the timing of Weiner's sexts with Sydney Leathers showed he was sexting even while posing for People photos with his baby to setup his comeback. Leathers used her fame to get into the porn industry. Weiner's intern revealed that he called female interns "Monica" (like Lewinsky. Ha.), his press secretary retaliated by calling her a "slutbag."