We have all heard the expression that a leopard doesn’t change his spots, and yet, Anthony Wiener would have us believe that his spots are now invisible.
Two years ago, Wiener wisely resigned from Congress after admitting that he sent sexually explicit messages and photos of himself to women he had met online.
First he blamed a hacker for posting a photo of him in his underwear in a suggestive pose on Twitter; then, after more sexually explicit photos started appearing, he admitted that he was the one who had posted the picture.
He apologized for his lewd behavior and said that he was sorry for the personal mistakes he made and the embarrassment he caused. He said that he was going to go for counseling.
The scandal eventually died down. We accepted the fact that his marriage to a very pregnant Huma Abedin, a top aide to then, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, was in trouble. We also wanted to believe that this episode was behind him and he would get the help he needed.
It didn’t work out that way. Now, two years later, he is running for mayor of New York and he and his wife admit that his inappropriate online sexting and carnal photos continued at least a year after his public apology and promise to go for counseling.
His wife may, or may not, have forgiven him for his past indiscretions, and the public may forgive his out of control sexual misconduct, but there is more at stake here than that.
We are seeing a man who is an inveterate liar. First he lied to the public about the hacker posting his picture on Twitter and then he lied to his constituents when he said that his salacious behavior was in the past. Now, he tells us that he didn’t stop his lascivious behavior when he said he would and that more photos, sext messages, and women coming forth might also be on the horizon.
Essentially, this issue isn’t about Wiener’s sexual misconduct; it’s about his lack of integrity in deliberately lying to the public and only admitting his culpability when he is caught, or on the verge of getting caught.
He wants the public to forgive and forget his sexual indiscretions so they will elect him to be their next mayor but he hasn’t asked them to forgive and forget that he’s a liar.