Does Hillary regret standing by her man?

The power couple are back in the news: Huma Abedin (former deputy chief of staff of state to Hillary Clinton) and her husband, Anthony 'The Sexting Rep' Weiner, (disgraced New York State Rep. who resigned after his Twtter-pic scandal) were on the coveted cover of The New York Times Sunday Magazine recently. They want a come back of some sort and clearly hoped this public, well-lit mea culpa might help them climb out of the darkness of public infamy.

The whole thing took me right back to the white heat of the original scandal, when Weiner first lied about then admitted sending crotch shots via Twitter to various ladies. His power-wife was pregnant at the time. Now they're parents.

She stood by her man. During the time, I imagined how Hillary Clinton was advising her longtime friend and aide, Huma.

To: Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff of State

From: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Subject: On Standing and Men

Dear Huma:

We have a long personal and professional history and much good work still to do together. We're jetting off to Northern Africa for a global diplomacy trip so before we get all diplomatic, I feel compelled to offer you this advice.

As a woman of a certain age and experience, I cannot let you continue on this road. I've known you since 1996 when I was First Lady and you were my intern. You've been my longtime aide, my trusted personal assistant. I have invested a significant amount of time, training and mentoring in you. I have schooled you in grave matters of public policy, diplomacy, international law, human rights and how to wear pant suits. Remember what the New York Daily News wrote about you:

"Abedin is a deputy chief of staff at State, one of the tight and incredibly loyal circle of Hillaryistas who are fiercely protective of their boss."

I love 'Hillaryistas.' Anyway, today, we're talkin' turkey. More specifically, the turkey you married (funny how my turkey presided over your marriage to your turkey. Weird. And PS: Nice call on not taking his last name.)

You know I only give it to you straight. And you can take it. You're smart, talented, driven. You've had to be. You've kept up with me. But girl, I do not know how you stay so thin. And you never sweat. Listen to me carefully. Now is your moment, sister. Now is when the universe is showing you the ultimate scales, revealing the ultimate truths from which you must select and seal your fate.

Should you stay or should you go? Oh, should you stay or should you go, now. Sorry. Love that song.

Not only am I Secretary of State, but I'm a crackerjack attorney. Yale Law School, baby. Did you know they didn't even let women into Yale until just a few years before I attended? Still makes me mad. Anyway, let's calmly review the evidence. You've been married 11 months. Before your marriage, your husband, New York Rep. Anthony D. Weiner, says you were aware he had sexually-charged, explicit online interactions. You married him knowing he had certain fetishes, no?

You are not the first woman to do so. Alas, there's a humidor filled with Cuban cigars in Bill's and my basement that stands as a testament to that annoying marital truth.

And now, as you've been tossed and turned and shredded in the last 48-hour news spin cycle we the people have learned (apparently just a little while after you, the wife, had learned) according to The New York Times:

"Mr. Weiner, 46, has admitted to engaging in salacious online conversations with at least six women over the last few years, including an incident last month in which he sent a photograph of himself in underwear to a college student in Washington State. He apologized to his wife and declared that they have no intention of splitting up.

"We will weather this," Mr. Weiner said on Monday, during his emotional news conference. "I love her very much, and she loves me."

And then today, The Times reports that you are pregnant. Congratulations. Now listen up.

Honey, I will share with you what Oprah Winfrey shared with me, that Maya Angelou shared with her, that she shared with 497 gazillion viewers, that we all shared with Maria Shriver just a couple of weeks ago:

"When people show you who they are, believe them."

And, just as important, Ms. Angelou always adds: "And believe them the first time."

Look, you are a super-successful, smart, well-connected, beautiful 35-year-old woman with the world at her feet. I'd say 'the world is your oyster' but when I was pregnant with Chelsea just hearing someone say the name of a shellfish made me gag. Oooh. You too, I see. Sorry.

But maybe it wasn't the oyster. Oh, sorry. Guess it was. I thought maybe it was the obscene irony of me – the Reigning Gold Medal-Olympic Champion in Standing By Your Man – telling you to dump yours.

Look, cookie, I get it. You're thinking: Pot. Kettle. Kettle sitting on counter in Glass House. You're wrong. My standing-by-my-man had a significant pay off. It was cold, calculated math, honey. My man is wicked smart and made of political Teflon. He was the Leader of the Free World. He had supreme power, access, and everybody owed him something because he was rather generous with his power.

Without him, I would have done fine, no doubt. But with him, well, with him I've done supremely fine. In fact, I myself will be the Leader of the Free World one day precisely because I stood by my man. It gave me the human vote.

Your guy? Goose egg.

What's he gonna get you? He's known as a pain in the arse. Blah blah blah. Smug. And now he's done. Put a fork in him, sister, he's done. You can't parlay his limp career into anything for you. But you, if you leave now, if you keep your mouth shut, and let your divorce decree do the talking, you'll be the antidote to all of the depressing broads (myself included) standing up there in our muted, pastel pant suits, smiling our muted, wan smiles, behind our pathetic husband holding his press conference, confessing about one iota of the sins he's actually committed, feigning tears, seeking redemption through the teleprompter. Don't be that gal, honey.

Be the gal who stands up, tilts her head down ever so slightly so her Prada Polarized sunglasses drop smartly onto the bridge of her elegantly uplifted nose, and says: Enough.

I am speaking to you as your boss and mentor, who knows the depth of your intelligence and the professional possibilities your life holds. I am speaking to you as the mother of a daughter, which you may soon be; and as the wife of an arrogant, narcissistic, power-hungry perv – which you already are. Get out now, so the child doesn't know life before the divorce. And what she does know is that her mother chose the road less travelled by too many smart women.

Stand up and leave your man.

Very Sincerely Yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State of the United States of America

To read more stories of men in power behaving badly and how social media like Facebook and Twitter can wreck marriages, check out:

Can You Protect Your Kids and Grandkids from Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter Sexting Scandal?

Where Did Maria Shriver Go?

How Can Maria Shriver Get Her Groove Back

Facebook now a divorce lawyer's best weapon

Old Flames on Facebook Wreck Marriages

Tools to Detect Internet Infidelity


About the Author

Pam Cytrynbaum

Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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