Who had the worst week in Washington? With certitude, Rep. Anthony Weiner.
By Chris Cillizza,
Anthony Weiner — the appear-everywhere, put-your-dukes-up-partisan Democratic congressman from New York City — had a week to remember. And not in a good way.
It began, as these scandals all seem to do these days, with Twitter. A picture of a man’s underwear-clad crotch (how’s that for a euphemism) was sent via Weiner’s Twitter account to a college student in Seattle last Friday night.
Weiner initially played down the incident, insisting that his account had been hacked. But by Tuesday, the controversy had blossomed into a national story, and his patience was clearly flagging; he got into a verbal back and forth with two CNN journalists in which he referred to one of them as a “jackass.” Weiner then declared he wouldn’t be saying anything more about the matter.
Or not. Twenty-four hours later, he sat for interviews with all of the major cable and broadcast networks in an unsuccessful attempt to explain himself. Asked directly whether the image in question was him, Weiner said that he couldn’t say “with certitude” that it wasn’t. That prompted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, one of the people granted a sit-down with the congressman, to utter this most-memorable line: “You would know if this was your underpants.” Yes, that really happened.
By Thursday, Weiner was pledging — again — not to answer any more questions about the matter, insisting that it was time to get back to work. But the damage may be done. House Democrats fumed about the distraction he had caused, and New York City Democrats pondered how badly he had hurt his chances to be the city’s next mayor.
Anthony Weiner, we can say with certitude that you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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