Huma Abedin, wife of Congressman Anthony Weiner, has had a rough week, and spending time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not be the best thing for her. First, her husband of less than one year admitted that he was sexting with random women during their marriage, and then her pregnancy was outed in front of the whole country.
As a top aide to Clinton, Abedin is currently traveling with her to the United Arab Emirates where it's said that she is in contact with Weiner. Clinton, meanwhile, has spoken to both and is said to be furious at Weiner for his stupidity. Well, that's great, but Abedin doesn't need Clinton as a friend right now.
Clinton may be strategic and smart in many ways, but when she chose to stand by Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky debacle, she sent a message loud and clear: It's OK for politicians to act this way.
She didn't leave him. She didn't publicly humiliate him. Some might say she used it strategically to her own advantage. Let's recall that she wasn't exactly the most popular First Lady in history prior to the scandal. But still, she stayed.
And her public message of support -- no matter what she said or did in private -- paved the way for the Weiner scandal. Look at Elizabeth Edwards and the way she treated John Edwards. She made it clear that she wasn't standing by her man, not letting him get away with what he did. That is the kind of woman Abedin needs beside her right now.
The fact is, political wives are in awful positions. They may be dying inside, but their husband's career is often crucial to their livelihood, and often, they are probably so shocked, it's hard to know how to respond. Abedin didn't play the role of doting wife publicly, but she has also not said anything publicly at all.
Meanwhile, both Clintons (Bill and Hillary) have spoken to Abedin and Weiner. But their anger is misplaced. Clinton invented the scandal and narrowly escaped being branded a liar like Weiner only because of a technicality (oral sex IS sex, darn it!). The two of them have no right to be angry because, in many ways, it's their fault.
Had they not upped the ante in terms of stupid political sex scandals, maybe more politicians would be afraid to have them lest they face graver consequences. But even more than that, they made the political sex scandal hot. Politicians have likely been doing such things for years, but the media never pursued it because they were more interested in actual substance. But then they saw how well sex pays.
Most of all, two people who went through the same thing have no room to say who is "stupid" and who isn't. Abedin should be surrounded by people who are more objective and, perhaps, less strategic and calculating. Abedin may be able to use this to her advantage, but why would she want to? For now, she ought to be focused on getting her family in order, no matter what that will look like.
Do you think Hillary Clinton is good for Abedin right now?
Image via veni markovski/Flickr