"I loved him as a politician," he said, emphasizing the "d" in "loved." He said Weiner would need to prove he had undergone a "sincere and significant" change to get back his support. Asked how long that could take, Corrado said, "About five years."
Weiner is the third member of New York's House delegation to be brought down by a sex scandal in a little over a year. Democrat Eric Massa stepped down in March 2010 amid allegations of sexual harassment. Republican Christopher Lee, who is married, resigned in February after he was caught sending photos of himself shirtless to a potential date on Craigslist.
The scandal came as Democrats had landed on what they hope will be the defining issue of the 2012 election cycle: the House GOP's plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program. As news of Weiner's decision spread on Capitol Hill on Thursday, one Democratic aide described the next step succinctly: refocus on Medicare.
On Thursday, Republicans showed little interest in trying to make Weiner's solidly Democratic district the stage for political payback. Keeping expectations low, one Republican aide called the Democrats' 130,000-voter registration advantage "Mount Everest."
Still, the Brooklyn part of the district voted for Republican Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Weiner faced one of his toughest reelections last year, when Republican businessman Bob Turner spent more than $100,000 of his own money to run. Turner won 39% of the vote. He's being discussed as a possible repeat contender.
Weiner's departure was the culmination of an effort by House Democrats that began immediately after his June 6 come-clean news conference. House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and other leaders immediately called for the ethics commission to investigate. Key members then called for his resignation.
Two days later, after an X-rated photo of Weiner's genitals appeared online, Pelosi and New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made the plea directly. In phones calls, they and other leaders urged Weiner to resign and seek treatment, according to a senior Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to comment.
The congressman made no moves as polls showed he still had considerable support from his constituents. In a June 10 phone call, Pelosi dismissed the poll numbers, telling Weiner to "consider those rose petals to let you go graciously," according to the aide.
Weiner conceded Wednesday, while his colleagues were hobnobbing at the White House picnic. Speaking on the phone with Israel, Weiner said he would give up his post. Israel handed the phone to Pelosi so she could hear it directly, the aide said.
Times staff writers Robin Abcarian in Los Angeles, Geraldine Baum in New York, and Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.