Does Huma Deserve Sympathy or Scorn?
She's getting plenty of both
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2013 1:51 PM CDT
Huma Abedin, alongside husband Anthony Weiner, speaks during their news conference Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The new Anthony Weiner revelations have put wife Huma Abedin back in the public eye, even more so this time because she chose to defend him publicly. A sample of the reaction:

  • No sympathy: "Clearly, there is something very wrong with Abedin—whether it’s simply that she shares her husband’s vaulting ambition or that she has a pathological need to be publicly humiliated, something’s up," writes Maureen Callahan at the New York Post. Abedin played along with Weiner's I'm-a-changed-man interviews knowing it wasn't true. She "was happy to lie to a public that had been nothing but sympathetic toward poor, brilliant Huma, saddled with such a dud. Perhaps they’re a better match than we knew."

  • Steinem puzzled: “I have no way of knowing whether Huma, for whom I have great respect, is responding out of new motherhood, the Stockholm syndrome or a mystery,” Gloria Steinem tells the New York Times. But “I strongly object to holding one spouse responsible for the other’s acts,” she adds. "He's the one who should get out of the race.”
  • Jenny Sanford supports: Sanford did the opposite of Abedin and left husband Mark during his "Appalachian trail" wanderings. But each marriage is different, she tells Politico. “Since [Weiner and Abedin] made a decision to stay together and work it out, it makes perfect sense that she stand up there now. … She obviously knew this would be a difficult race.”
  • But ... This isn't just about a marriage, it's also about a mayor's race, writes Keli Goff at the Washington Post. If Abedin wants to stand by Weiner the husband, fine, but Weiner the candidate? "Right now it looks like Huma is putting her family’s political ambition ahead of the city’s needs, and perhaps her own."
  • Political savvy: Don't underestimate Abedin's, writes Elizabeth Dias at Time. She learned from the best, Hillary Clinton, and who knows, she might end up being chief of staff to the first female president. As for personal matters, she laid out her decision in clear terms. "To sincerely support a women’s right to choose their own future, the public has to let Huma be Huma."