Before we get into what he said, a quick refresher on Weiner's background: He resigned from Congress in 2011 for posting that image of himself on Twitter by accident and then lying about it repeatedly. Seeking redemption, Weiner ran for New York City mayor in 2013 only to find himself holding yet another press conference explaining that the sexting didn't stop when he resigned from Congress. The one-time future mayor lost a five-way mayoral primary, getting just 5 percent of the vote.
In the interview, Weiner describes experiencing the scandal with a detached- feeling as he became the butt of late night, dominated local and national news and apparently, he said, was Googled more than Jesus Christ for a period of time:
"There was this slightly surreal sensibility to this whole thing you're kind of watching yourself in the middle of a national movie; there's no way to put it," he said. "It kind of had this weird, un-reality to it. "
Afterward, Weiner gave the appropriate public apologies and laid low for a year before deciding in 2013 it was now or never to run for his dream job, mayor of New York.
But Weiner wasn't exactly starting with a clean slate. He had to strike a delicate balance of hinting to reporters there were more sexts than had been reported and trying not to sabotage his campaign or out the people he had communicated with. In other words, Weiner couldn't just outright say the sexting didn't stop when he resigned from Congress, but he was trying to be as truthful as possible about it or hope it all slid under the rug.
Campaigning with that semi-secret created "perpetual anxiety," Weiner said.
“It’s kind of like PTSD," Weiner said. "I knew that behind the headline could be this hammer that could come down on me.”
When the news eventually did break, "I obviously knew it was bad," he said. So bad that he and his campaign appeared to crumble afterward; his campaign manager resigned; he got into a shouting match with a customer at Kosher bakery ("I was just falling apart," Weiner said of that incident); and the night he lost he flipped off a reporter.
Weiner couldn't help but wonder in his interview with the Huffington Post if his sensational scandal hadn't happened on a slow news day or in an era where sensational things on Twitter are more acceptable (See Donald Trump-Ted Cruz feud) if all this would have been as big of a deal.
But don't expect him to test that theory out by running for office a third time: "I'm a smart enough political creature to realize the limitations of the thing," he said.