Opinion: The recurring Democrat nightmare

Nicholas Hunter

Nicholas Hunter

Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner has spent much of the past five years steeped in controversy and scandal, much to the dismay of the Democratic Party.

Seen as a young, progressive congressman at one point, Weiner has been at the forefront of three separate sexting scandals, each one seeming to be worse than the last.

Weiner first found himself in tabloid headlines in mid-2011, when pictures he sent to a 21-year-old college student were leaked on Twitter. After nearly a week of claiming the images were fabricated and denying all accusations made against him, he was forced to come clean and admit that he took and sent the pictures in question.

This admission led to denouncement from Democratic and Republican leaders alike, as well as President Barack Obama. Weiner did eventually resign from his seat in Congress, and he stayed away from politics for two years.

In 2013, Weiner re-emerged in the political world — this time with his eye on the New York City mayoral position. But it did not take long for another scandal to begin.

Explicit conversations between Wiener and several women were leaked, this time by the website “The Dirty.” Weiner used the alias “Carlos Danger” during the conversations, which occurred for over a year after he resigned from Congress.

Wiener decided to not deny the accusations this time, instead opting to own up to his mistakes and push forward in the race. In the end, he was not able to get past the Democratic Primary in NYC, ending the race in fifth place despite going in as the front-runner.

Since then, Wiener has stepped away from politics. However, it hasn’t taken him out of the spotlight.

In August of this year, The New York Post reported that Weiner sent explicit pictures to another woman, with his toddler son next to him in one of them. The situation was made worse when, the next day, The New York Times reported Weiner and his wife, vice chairwoman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Huma Abedin, were separating.

In September, things really began to spiral out of control when a report by The Daily Mail claimed that Weiner allegedly sexted with a 15-year-old girl. This launched an FBI investigation, in which Weiner and Abedin had their electronic devices confiscated.

The confiscation led to a letter being sent to Congress from FBI Director James B. Comey, stating that emails were uncovered that he believes “appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Clinton’s use of a private email server, an investigation that had originally been closed in July of this year.

While admitting in the letter the FBI could not yet be sure the emails were significant in the investigation, Comey insisted it was important for him to keep congress updated on his investigation.

Despite receiving praise from the Republican side, Comey has seen criticism from Democrats on his timing, with Election Day being right around the corner.

While Clinton still appears to have a solid lead just eight days before Election Day, it is safe to say that for Democrats, only a Donald Trump presidency is a bigger nightmare than Weiner with a camera phone.

Nicholas Hunter is a columnist, contact him [email protected].