Mixed feelings for Weiner as X-rated pic, pregnancy news leaks
There are even more reasons for embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner to hang his head in shame: An X-rated photo purported to be of his penis was exposed online Wednesday, while it was reported that his wife is pregnant with their first child.
The shocking developments unspooled as the drumbeat for the seven-term congressman to resign grew louder, following his admission on Monday that he had lied about sending racy photos and messages to six women via Twitter and Facebook.
“Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign,” said Tim Kaine, former Democratic National Committee chairman.
While Kaine became the first high-profile Democrat to demand he quit, other lawmakers began calling for his resignation.
Expect the chorus to grow louder now that a nude photo ascribed to Weiner, 46, is out there, observers said.
“I think today he became a laughing stock,” said Michael Caputo, a GOP consultant. “If you’re a laughing stock, you’re out. How can you be effective in your job?”
Jamie Chandler, a political science professor at Hunter College, said the X-rated photo creates “an added level of lasciviousness and discomfort. I don’t think his career is salvageable.”
The photo was taken off the phone of Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who was in contact with some of the women. Breitbart showed the photo while he was at the “Opie and Anthony” radio show, but claimed someone unknowingly took a photo of it and uploaded it to Twitter.
A spokeswoman for Weiner reiterated in a statement that he has sent explicit photos and “deeply regrets the pain he has caused.”
Meanwhile, Weiner’s wife of nearly a year, Huma Abedin, 35, who has kept silent about the scandal, is in the early stages of pregnancy, the New York Times reported. A top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Abedin is on a trip to Africa with her boss.
Some officials and voters, however, aren’t rushing to judgment.
Queens Democratic Party Chairman and Congressman Joseph Crowley, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and State Sen. Tony Avella said it’ll be up to the electorate to decide what happens.
“If more stuff comes out, then he probably will have to step down,” Avella said.
“I don’t think he should resign, but he should focus on his job instead of on his genitals,” said Rita Miller, 20, of Sheepshead Bay.
(With Gabrielle Bruney)
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Potential contenders for Anthony Weiner’s 9th Congressional District seat, which straddles Brooklyn and Queens. He’s up for reelection in 2012.
•Joseph Addabbo, 47, a Queens state senator
•Eric Gioia, 38, a former Queens city councilman
•Bob Turner, 70, a Queens businessman who lost to Weiner in 2010.
•Eric Ulrich, 26, a Queens city councilman.
•Noach Dear, a New York State judge from Brooklyn who ran against Weiner in 1998.