It’s not exactly much of a choice. One is a failed politician with nothing to offer and the other aspires to be the nation’s top leader and is plugged into pipelines of cash.
But still the forms have to be preserved. And part of that is pretending that this is a hard choice.
Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has been given an ultimatum: dump serial-sexting hubby Anthony Weiner, or get out of Clintontown.
“Huma has a choice to make,” a close associate tells New York magazine. “Does she go with Anthony, or does she go with Hillary?”
Abedin’s decision over whether to leave the “Clinton bubble,” where she’s seen as Hillary’s most trusted aide, has emerged as “the biggest question among Hillary’s circle” as the former Secretary of State mulls a 2016 run for the White House, the magazine reports.
The New York Mag piece is the expected Clinton puff piece written in the same detached analytical tone perfected by top papers and magazines to hide that they’re doing a puff piece.
The biggest question among Hillary’s circle concerns Huma Abedin, currently chief of Hillary’s “transition office” and formerly her deputy chief of staff in the State Department. Abedin began as an intern for the First Lady in 1996, when she was 20 years old, and is, of course, married to former congressman and mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, of sexting infamy.
In the midst of her husband’s scandal, Abedin stepped down from her full-time job for a consulting contract and moved back to New York to take work with Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm and investment bank run by Bill Clinton’s longtime consigliere, Doug Band. This gave Hillary cover while also keeping Abedin plugged in. “It’s business as usual,” says a Clinton insider. “Keep your circle of advisers small, and then you structure things in a way that makes it economically possible for your close advisers to sustain themselves.”
But business as usual can be a giant target for enemies: Abedin has since become the subject of an inquiry, by a Republican congressman, into her dual consulting roles, looking for potential conflicts of interest while she served in a sensitive role in the administration. Then came a second episode of Weiner’s sexting this summer, blindsiding the Clintons, obliterating Weiner’s mayoral ambitions, and greatly complicating Abedin’s future with the Clintons. With Weiner’s ignominious loss and parting bird-flip, “Huma has a choice to make,” says a close associate of hers. “Does she go with Anthony, or does she go with Hillary?”
Leaving the Clinton bubble is almost unimaginable for those who’ve grown up in it. According to a person familiar with the conversations, Abedin has struggled to reconcile her marriage to Weiner with her role as Clinton’s top aide, traumatized by the prospect of leaving her boss’s inner circle.
She’s also useless and likely unemployable outside it. Huma was supposed to upgrade Hillary’s image, but now she’s downgrading it and whoever is on that now appears to be doing a better job than Huma had.
So the real question is why does Hillary even need Huma? The unspoken rule for those types of functions is that you aren’t supposed to draw too much attention to yourself. Hillary Inc. put up with it as long as they were stories about how classy Huma is.
I’m not sure anyone in Clinton Inc. wants to be part of the Huma drama. To give them credit, the Clintons are somewhat better at cultivating loyalists than Obama. Obama simply disposes of people left and right. The Clintons are better at the old political game of moving them up the ladder. But there’s nothing of blind loyalty in that.