Why I’m Standing By Huma Abedin

Her fan club is growing. Here's why I count myself among its members

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a meeting with leaders for the Open Government Partnership in New York, Sept. 20, 2011.

I’ve never been one to give the wives of disgraced politicians a pass. Gloria Cain, Anne Sinclair, Silda Spitzer — it made me cringe to see them trotted out for damage control after their husbands’ sexual improprieties. But I don’t feel that way about Huma Abedin, the wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned his seat last summer after sending lewd photos of himself to young women via Twitter.

(MORE: Top 10 Political Sex Scandals)

Abedin, who was pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time, didn’t toss him to the curb. Nor did she appear by his side at his press conference announcing his resignation. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Abedin was traveling out of the country for much of the scandal. This gets to the heart, I think, of why I can’t put her in the doormat category — one that even her boss, Hillary Clinton, belonged to when, in 1998, she blamed the Monica Lewinsky scandal on a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” instead of on her husband’s libido. Unlike any of her predecessors, Abedin seems to be truly a free agent in this marriage, and that can be directly attributed to her own powerful career. She was never riding on her husband’s coattails and could have left Weiner if she’d wanted to, and that makes her choice to stay something that I can respect instead of deride.

(PHOTOS: Huma Abedin In Profile)

So while some saw Weiner and Abedin’s interview in this week’s People (complete with adorable photos of their baby) as craven opportunism, I feel Abedin is being genuine when she says, “I’m proud to be married to him. My husband did a really stupid thing. It was an extremely painful time. But there was love and a commitment to this marriage. It took a lot of work to get where we are today, but I want people to know we’re a normal family.” And when John McCain took to the senate floor yesterday to defend against Michele Bachmann’s ridiculous allegation that Abedin has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood that make her unfit for her job — as if the Muslim Brotherhood would actually deploy a woman to infiltrate the State Department — I actually felt proud of our elected officials.

Apparently, I’m not alone. There is now a group page called “I stand with Huma” on Facebook, with such comments as “You are my hero — for all the work you do, for your graciousness and integrity in the crisis with your husband, and as a woman. It is a horrifying example of how low our political discourse is. I stand with you.” Who cares if Anthony Weiner is contemplating a comeback? Huma Abedin doesn’t need one.

15 comments
eaglecrow6
eaglecrow6

Why does anybody care what Ruth Konigsberg think? All of a sudden she's the expert on everything. We have become a nation of followers. Oh my god, what does Britney think I wonder?

Bing Jou
Bing Jou

We defend Huma Abedin because Michele Bachmann’s accusation is baseless, unreasonable and discriminatory.  Marlene Dietrich, a German citizen who left her fatherland and became a US citizen in 1939, helped the US effort and tour with General Patton to visit soldiers in the frontline.  No politicians at that time questioned her loyalty to the US.

Ruth Davis Konigsberg wrote at length to give reasons why she defends Abedin, but I am not sure she understands why we have to defend Abedin.  It seems to me that were Abedin to live a different private life or on a different set of personal rules, Davis Konigsberg would not come to defend Abedin.   

mnny
mnny

I agree with everything in this article with one exception. Ms. Abedin says "I want people to know we are a normal family." No, she does not have a normal family.

Huma and her husband Anthony have a cleaning lady, and also a nanny to help raise her beautiful baby, which most normal families do not have. Ms. Abedin is known for wearing $5,ooo Chanel suits, and $7,000 dresses by major designers like Oscar De Larenta whom she knows personally. 99 percent of "normal" women cannot afford to wear those clothes. I highly doubt she has scrubbed a toilet bowl in the last 10 years.

Again, I agree with everything else in this article. Ms. Abedin has a great job, is a very hard worker, and I hope she sues Michelle Bachman for defamation. But please do not go around telling people you live a normal life or have a normal family becuase that isn't true and is a bit insulting to the rest of us normal folks.

RubixcubeChamp
RubixcubeChamp

Oh the nerve! Calling herself "normal!"  

Although you seem to have set yourself up as the arbiter of "normalness," which is a meaningless definition anyway, I think what you are actually referring to is "average" as in median social-economic status. I'm pretty sure that she wasn't claiming to be in the median social economic bracket, but was expressing her feelings about her family life.  I don't know anyone who doesn't consider themselves to be normal, no matter what their economic status is. Would you have preferred her to have described her family life as exceptional and superior? I hardly think so. 

Considering herself normal even if she is wealthier than you, is not an insult against you. 

mnny
mnny

I'm sure you reacted the same way when Ann Romney made similar comments about being part of a normal family.

RubixcubeChamp
RubixcubeChamp

Well...yeah. Why shouldn't she consider herself as part of a normal family? Are wealthy or even super wealthy people not allowed to think of themselves this way? 

Please be aware that by taking offense at a wealthy person viewing themselves as normal you create the appearance of envy and definitely of bitterness. Personally I wouldn't want to switch places with Ann Romney given that she has had to fight off breast cancer and is a longtime MS sufferer.

NoahAck
NoahAck

Ruth Davis Konigsberg is either very misimformed or on the take to do damage control for Huma Abedin.  Who gives a shit about her marriage to her disturbed husband Anthony Wiener as though this is some kind of reason to dismiss Huma from any kind of normal security clearance processes that should have been in place for her to have a high level job?  Michele, God bless her, is just asking for something very responsible and very normal in determining if Huma and others like her with very possible ties to the Muslim Brotherhood have been properly vetted for thier jobs.   It seems the Muslim Brotherhood has more money thatn God and human nature being what it is that provides for posssible temptation to doe wrong and curious minds are burning to know.  Michele is one of a handful of politicians I can actually trust to defend the USA.

David Lakatos
David Lakatos

There's treason in are government big time.There's a very sinister reason why their are so many Muslim all of a sudden showing up in America after 9/11.I would venture to say that the majority of legal immirgants coming into this country are rich Muslim buying there way into our Government.Our Government know's full well that Muslim and Christains cannot live in peace together ever. It will never happen.Hell will freeze over frist.So now the war will be in America instead of in the hell hole country's they come from.That's what the Muslim's wanted all along infiltrate America to wipe out Christainty in America.Christain are the biggest opposition standing in the way of the Muslim dream world.Which is everybody will be a Muslim or die.

KellyJ
KellyJ

"rediculous allegations"

The facts are that Huma's mother and brother are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Her mother co-founded the Dar El-Hekma womans college and is listed by Egyptian Security as a "dangerous member of the Muslim Brotherhood" due to her ties with the MBs sister organizations.

Her brother, Hassan Abedin, is a board member of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies along with several other known Muslim Brotherhood members, including Al-Qaeda associate, Omar Nassef and theMuslim Brotherhood leader SheikhYouseff Qaradawi.

I've held a high security clearance (SCI level for those who know what that means) in the past and know the investigation and screening process that takes place. Had my family members been anywhere even close to positions like these I would never have gotten that clearance and would most likely have lost my job. 

As a side note, in a world where Honor Killings occur everyday for the slightest perceived insult, where marriages are arranged among families for political and social ties, where the Jew is lower than a dog, why is their dead silence from the Islamic Clerics, Imams, and radical leaders when a woman from a high ranking Muslim family marries a Jewish man? The ultimate insult in that worlds viewpoint.

She may have been born in Kalamazoo, but from age 2 she grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Is she an agent on the order of Rudolph Hess (1940s/50s Communist agent in the US State Department)? Is this nothing but smoke and mirrors? The fact is as an appointed aide (along with elected members of our government) Huma has never had to face an actual security investigation. Yet is is privy to every last secret our security agencies gather and is an extremely influential whisper in the ear of the number 4 person in line for the POTUS.

doddeb
doddeb

Wow, clearly your argumentation would've made anyone from the HUAC proud, but your historic reference is a bit out of kilter.  I believe you meant to refer to Alger Hiss, not Rudolph Hess, who was the #2 Nazi under Hitler, until he took his wacky airplane trip to England:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

.

In any event, the record is not entirely clear about Alger Hiss' guilt or innocence.  Nor have you convinced me in any way about Huma Adedin.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

I lost most of the respect I had for John McCain when he put his arm around the shoulders of George W. Bush during the campaign in 2004 and praised him a great commander-in-chief. I lost whatever respect remained when he foisted Sarah Palin on America as an anti-Obama attack dog in 2008. Yesterday, a smidgen of that respect returned when McCain called out Michele Bachmann and others for their rabid and rancid comments about Huma Adedin. I hope more Republicans will join McCain in denouncing those in his Party who reduce the public discourse to hate-filled attacks and smarmy innuendoes.

Susan Lowe
Susan Lowe

The illicit sex was Bill Clinton's fault but the scandal was very much a product of "the vast rightwing conspiracy".

KellyJ
KellyJ

The scandal was because he lied to a Grand Jury; something that you or I would have gone to jail for.