By JAMILA RIZVIThis is Huma Abedin.
At the age of 20 she won a coveted White House internship. She has worked at the highest levels in both the public and private sector. She holds a degree from Washington State University. She was traveling chief of staff to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination. And she worked for the US State Department.
Abedin also happens to be married to a fool.
And for some reason – which remains unclear to me – the world’s media have collectively decided that by marrying and staying married to a fool, Abedin should be derided, demeaned and denigrated.
For those who came late to this story, let’s rewind.
A couple of years ago, Huma’s husband, the aptly named former US congressman Anthony Weiner dipped his toe into the world of Twitter.
Except it wasn’t his toe.
Weiner sent a photo of his semi-erect penis to a 21-year-old woman, via social media. He then proceeded to deny doing it. I did not have sexually charged twitter relations with that woman, he protested. I was hacked, he claimed. Yadda, yadda…
But since the Internet ensures that there’s no such thing as a digital secret – the truth eventually came out. Weiner did send a link to the penis pictures.
Cue Weiner jokes.
This all went down in mid 2011 and ultimately resulted in Weiner resigning his seat in the US House of Representatives.
The press conference where he announced his resignation was predictably awkward. His wife Huma Abedin – notably – did not appear by his side. Instead, she remained in her job, working for the world’s most famous ‘wronged political spouse’, her boss, Hillary Clinton.
But pregnant with their first child, Abedin and Weiner chose to stay together and work things out, away from the public eye. Then in April of this year, Weiner made a triumphant return to politics and entered the race for New York City Mayor. He and Abedin gave a number of high profile interviews discussing how they had repaired their marriage.
“Every day since this happened, I’ve tried to become a better person, a husband Huma deserves and as good a father as I can be,” Weiner told People magazine. Voters seemed to forgive his previous indiscretions. Polls were looking good for the wannabe mayoral candidate.
And then last week it all went horribly wrong.
US political website The Dirty published more explicit sexts (including photographs) from Weiner. This time around, the material had been sent to a different 22-year-old woman and was delivered using the alias Carlos Danger.
Weiner confirmed that some of the newly published material had been sent before his resignation from congress and some, afterwards. He also admitted that more images would surface from more women. And they have. 13 seperate women as we write this have come forward to claim they too received sexual images from Weiner.
Abedin, who this time did attend the excruciating press conference, took to the podium and quietly explained that she had – again – managed to forgive her husband.
As she addressed the assembled media – all desperate to get the perfect snap of this real-life ‘Good Wife’ moment – Abedin looked incredibly strained.