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Weiner's colleagues say scandal isn't the end of his career

June 16, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro
  • People walk past the plaque outside Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) office in the Rayburn House Office Building June 16.
People walk past the plaque outside Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.)… (Chip Somodevilla, Getty…)

As they absorbed news of his coming resignation, colleagues of Rep. Anthony Weiner expressed a mix of relief and regret at his stunning downfall Thursday.

"It's a loss," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). "He could articulate the issues very well and dramatize them. Anytime you lose that kind of talent, of course it's a loss."

"There is life after Congress for Anthony Weiner and I hope he devotes himself to repairing the damage he caused to his personal life," Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

Photos: Rep. Weiner sexting scandal

Weiner was due to formally announce his resignation at 2 p.m. EDT in his New York district. Just six years ago Weiner ran a strong campaign for mayor in the city, and he was expected to make another run in two years.

But New York lawmakers don't necessarily see his current saga as the end of his political career.

"There are other people who made mistakes and have bounced back and [are] doing great things," said Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), who has known Weiner since his days on the New York City Council. "There’s no doubt in my mind this is not the end of Mr. Weiner."

The White House, meanwhile, brushed off the news, days after calling his personal drama a "distraction."

"We never stopped focusing on jobs," Press Secretary Jay Carney said at his daily briefing, echoing earlier comments from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

On Monday, President Obama told NBC News that he would resign if he were in Weiner's shoes. Carney said Thursday that the issue was not one that he had been focused on.

"I think he made clear that he agreed with Congressman Weiner, that the behavior he exhibited was inappropriate, that he had embarrassed himself and obviously his family," Carney said.

He also said he was unaware of any conversations between the president and Weiner.

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