The Anthony Weiner sexting scandal was handled so badly, it deserves to be studied, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman said on "The Early Show."
Zimmerman said, "For 20 years, they're going to be teaching in crisis communications the Anthony Wiener story in business schools throughout America. This is up there with the automotive executives who took private jets to Washington when they asked for a government bailout."
Weiner, D-N.Y., resigned his seat in the House Thursday at a bizarre press event in Brooklyn, in which the congressman was heckled throughout his short speech.
Having a news conference about a sex scandal in New York, Zimmerman
noted, "guarantees" that you'll have hecklers, "Howard Stern wannabes"
and a "couple of drag queens."
"You're gonna have a circus out of this," he said.
The entire resignation, Zimmerman said, should have been done with a statement - not a news conference.
It's been nearly three weeks since news broke that a photo of a crotch - which turned out to be Weiner's own - appeared on the congressman's Twitter account. Since then, Zimmerman said, the slow leak of information and lies have led to Weiner's current situation.
Zimmerman said, "From the beginning, from his lying to the press, then berating the media for not believing his lies, this has been just an exercise in complete incompetence."
But even if he had told the truth from the start, would Weiner have had a shot at continuing in political office?
Zimmerman said he doesn't know what would have happened if the truth had been told from the start, but said it would have possibly given the congressman a chance to ride this out.
"(Weiner) would have had a chance to somehow retain some credibility and some trust," Zimmerman said. "But when he lied from the beginning, and not just to the media, but to his colleagues, to his constituents, to his supporters, he lost all trust and credibility going forward. That really did him in."
But is there some hypocrisy coming from Washington about the sex scandal? "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill noted Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who was involved in a prostitute scandal, maintained his seat in Congress.
Zimmerman replied, saying there's hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle.
He added, "I disagree with my party when they say. 'Dave Vitter stayed, the republican family values senator from Louisiana who got caught in a prostitution scandal. Senator Vitter stayed, why couldn't Anthony Weiner?' Senator Vitter is not the standard by whether we determine whether public officials stay in office or not. And likewise, when I hear the Republican Party talk about family values and then treat as politics when their family values leaders get caught in sex scandals, that just speaks to their own hypocrisy, as well."
As for the timing of Weiner's resignation, Zimmerman said when a porn star comes out and lectures the congressman on integrity and actually shows more credibility, it's time to go.