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Wednesday, May 25 2016

The timing of Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg's you-are-there documentary Weiner couldn't be better. As utterly stupid as American politics have become since last June, the movie serves as a reminder that things were already plenty dumb before the orange man took his infamous escalator ride. In 2013, two years after the dick-pic scandal led to his resignation from Congress, Anthony Weiner decided to run for mayor of New York. It was going better than might be expected, until another scandal erupted — this time under the immediately famous pseudonym Carlos Danger. Worse, this round of sexting took place after Weiner had apologized for the 2011 fracas and swore he'd stop cheating on his wife, mother of his child, and close Hillary Clinton confidante Huma Abedin. Throughout the brouhaha and the doomed campaign — which saw the other woman, whose real name was Sydney Leathers, resurface shortly before Election Day — Abedin gamely stood by the increasingly terrible man she'd married in 2010, her big angry eyes speaking otherwise unspoken volumes. If there's a hero in the film, it's Abedin, while more recent talking-head confessionals by Weiner show a man who's only beginning to realize the destruction wrought by his hubris and horn-doggery. But that humbling is far too little, and it comes way too late for him.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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