Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was a rising star in national politics and widely believed to be a front-runner for mayor in 2013, now faces uncertainty about his future following his stunning admission about his online relationships with women.
Shortly after the Democrat apologized for sending a photo of his protruding groin to a Twitter follower and admitted other past transgressions, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethics investigation "to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred."
Weiner said in a statement later in the day that he would cooperate with any investigation. Earlier at his press conference, he said he had spoken with Pelosi and that it was clear "she was not happy," but vowed to remain in office and move on.
“I'm going to go back to work,” he said. “This is an aberration from which I learned. All I can do is keep doing what I've done, which is work very hard every day. There wasn't anything about this I would say that changes my ability or my record of getting bills passed or filling potholes or fulfilling community service."
Asked how he thought his constituents would respond at the voting booth when he is up for re-election in 2012, he said "it's up to them."
“If they believe that this is something that means they don’t want to vote for me, I'm going to work very hard to win back their trust and to try to persuade them that this is a personal failing of mine, that I've worked very hard for my constituents for a very long time, very long hours and that nothing about this should reflect in any way on my official duties or on my oath of office."
Weiner, who ran for mayor in 2005 and got enough votes to force a primary runoff, was preparing for a City Hall run in 2013. As of the last reporting period in January, he had raised $5.1 million, surpassing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's $3.2 million and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's $1 million.
Quinnipiac University pollster Maurice Carroll predicted Weiner no longer has a chance at being elected mayor.
“Weiner acted like a teenage kid and probably cooked any chance he might have had of being mayor,” Carroll said in an email.
But Congress may be different, Carroll said, predicting he has a chance.
“My guess is yes,” Carroll said. “The election isn’t until next year and he’s worked his district relentlessly, Chuck Schumer-like.”
Crisis public relations adviser Mike Paul said Democratic leaders are likely already trying to figure out how to get Weiner to step down.
“The leadership of the Democratic House will have to say in a few days, ‘We can’t back you on this. We have to clear our own names,’” Paul, of MGP & Associates PR, said in a phone interview with NBC New York. “When you have to choose between your own reputation and someone else’s, you’re going to protect your own.”