The White House today flatly declined to say anything about the scandal engulfing Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), apparently calculating that there could be only downside to allowing President Obama to wade into one of the most obscene and bizarre narratives to hit Washington in many years.
“We have no comment on that story,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Obama is in a difficult position on the matter, since Weiner’s wife of a year, Huma Abedin, technically works for the president in her role as an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Making comments critical of Weiner could cause complications for Clinton, who relies extensively on Abedin as a longtime member of her inner circle.
But offering any positive support would run Obama afoul of Congressional colleagues who have been decidedly cool toward Weiner following his admission that he lied by denying he has engaged in sexually explicit online relations with women outside his marriage.
Nevertheless, the temptation to join in the criticism might be there.
Known as a “fiery liberal,” Weiner has recently expressed in direct terms the frustration many on the left have with Obama. In an interview with reporters in March, Weiner suggested Obama lacks liberal passion, according to a report by the Huffington Post.
The president fundamentally — he’s not a values guy. He wants to try to get the best deal for the American people and that’s virtuous in its own right, but it becomes very difficult to make a strategy. There’s been much greater global strategy thinking on (progressive media) outlets, frankly, than at 1600 Pennsylvania.
It is now pretty clear to me — I’m not saying this is pejorative — the president, he doesn’t animate his day by saying, “All right, what is the thing that has me fired up today? I’m going to out and try to move the ball on it.” He kind of sees his job as to take this calamitous noise that’s going on on the left with people like us and on the right on Fox News . . .
Weiner has also recently waffled on Obamacare, suggesting that New York City might be due a waiver from the law.