If this headline feels familiar, it’s because it’s what we’ve all been thinking when we saw news headlines this morning that the humiliated long-time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin finally left her husband, the disgraced Jewish former congressman Anthony Weiner, after he was discovered to have sexted yet another woman.
First, “Why are you still with him?” your mind asks as you absorb this piece of news. “Way to go, finally! It only took five years,” you think next.
Abedin and Weiner married in 2010. Weiner’s online sexcapades first came to light a year later, when the then democratic New York congressman accidentally publicly tweeted a barely covered image of himself. The photo, intended for a 21-year-old college student, was quickly deleted but remained online long enough for the first scandal to erupt, and for Weiner to subsequently to resign from public office. In 2013, Weiner tried to make a political comeback by running for Mayor of New York, but lost miserably after new sexting images that he had sent to another young woman became public.
Through both of those scandals, Abedin stuck by her husband. This third time, however, finally became the straw, in large part probably due to the fact that the photo that Weiner sent to yet another woman with an explicit message this time also featured his 5-year-old son with Abedin lying next to him, as the New York Post reported.
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, the third time is the charm.
“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy,” Abedin said in a statement about the split.
The decision to leave Weiner was probably as much a public relations move as a personal decision. It came just a week after Abedin, who currently serves as vice chairwoman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – and who is speculated as the likely White House chief of staff should Clinton win – was revealed to have formerly worked for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, a publication run by her mother, that included articles opposing women’s rights and blaming the U.S. for 9/11, the New York Post reported.
The Clinton campaign maintains this has been a matter of public record for a long time, and Abedin did not edit any articles while she was employed with the journal. However, a top adviser to GOP nominee Donald Trump recently called Abedin a “Saudi asset,” and she has been accused of having ties with the Muslim Brotherhood over the past few years.
Despite this controversy already surrounding Abedin, it’s hard not to empathize with her as a woman, and to wonder why someone seemingly so intelligent and successful enough to reach her current role in Clinton’s inner circle, would feel the need stay with a man like Weiner for this long? We’re all asking this.
“‘Empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit the cause of women or their relations with men,” wrote Abedin’s mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, in one article for her journal in 1996.
Perhaps that is the reason.
Then again, we can ask the same question of Clinton, so perhaps there’s a reason the two are so close.