Anthony Weiner's problems pile up

By Marshall Cohen

(CBS News)--The Anthony Weiner story has turned into a feeding frenzy for the press.

The media have closely followed Weiner's every move since he entered the New York City mayoral race in May. But the story reached a fever pitch last week with new revelations that Weiner continued exchanging lewd images and messages with young women even after his resignation from Congress.

Political experts on "Face The Nation" agreed Sunday that the fledgling campaign can't recover from the latest wrinkles in the two-year-old scandal. Earlier in the show, host Bob Schieffer said during his weekly commentary that Weiner "has no business" running for mayor of the largest city in the United States.

Even political junkies got tired of the nonstop coverage of Weiner and Huma Abedin, his wife and a top aide to Hillary Clinton. To no one's surprise, the tumult continued this week in New York City -- but there have been some unexpected twists along the way.


The week started off with more bad news for Weiner: He plunged to fourth place in the race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday and conducted after the latest sexting admissions.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn took first place in the poll with 27 percent. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio followed with 21 percent and former Comptroller Bill Thompson was in third with 20 percent. Weiner lagged behind with 16 percent, a significant drop from previous polls of the race.

Even worse, 53 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said Weiner should drop out of the race. Only 40 percent of New Yorkers surveyed said the former congressman should continue his campaign.

Also on Monday, Abedin was spotted dining with Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines in Washington.


The story found its way to the cover of the tabloids yet again on Tuesday, in true New York City fashion.

The New York Daily News published a first-person account from Olivia Nuzzi, who spent one month as an intern for the understaffed Weiner campaign. The college student claimed that many staffers merely joined the team to get close to Abedin. Nuzzi also said Weiner lacked personal skills and that some staffers were not being paid what they were promised.

Weiner campaign spokeswoman Barbara Morgan fired back Tuesday night with what can only be described as an unprecedented, profanity-laced rant of stunning proportion. In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Morgan called Nuzzi a "stupid" intern looking for notoriety and described her with no fewer than three sexually vulgar terms that are too explicit to publish here.

Morgan's brazen rant spread like wildfire on the Internet, and she quickly issued an apology.


Hoping to pivot from the latest round of negative headlines, the Weiner campaign released a new video. In the minute-long spot, the embattled candidate sits in front of family photos and talks directly to the camera, saying he will stay in the race because "quit isn't the way we roll in New York City."

Reports also emerged Wednesday that Abedin would take time off from her job as Hillary Clinton's transition office chief. The official explanation was twofold: There are only five weeks left until the mayoral primary, and Clinton has a light August schedule and will take a vacation of her own.