Anthony Weiner’s congressional sparring partner thinks strangeness will be tough to overcome

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Pete King. ()
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Representative Peter King, who engaged more than once in a high-profile screaming match with Anthony Weiner, thinks his old colleague would face a rough reentry into public life.

"If there is such a thing as a typical scandal, this wasn't it," King, a Republican from Long Island, said in a phone interview his afternoon. "I think you have to really explain to people why he did what he did, because it does raise serious questions about your judgment."

Weiner is reportedly considering a return to politics, which is really the only line of work he's ever been in, just a year after he resigned for tweeting graphic pictures of himself to female admirers.

"Unless all the traditional political rules have changed, I think it's too early for him to come back," King said.

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King said the odd nature of the scandal—which, as others have pointed out, includes more embarrassing photographic evidence than pre-Internet scandals—makes it harder to overcome than ones of a more traditional variety.

"Maybe it's generational, but I think people can understand an affair, they can understand a D.U.I., as wrong as they are, and you can understand a person saying why it's not going to happen again. This just seems to be stranger than most," King said.

"I have no hard feelings toward Anthony, I'm just thinking in practical politics. I think he would have to explain more than just saying 'I've learned my lesson' or 'it's not going to happen again.'"

King said a return to Congress seemed unlikely, but maybe public advocate would be a good fit.

"If he is going to come back, it's probably the role where he would have the best chance to demonstrate his skills," King said. "It takes a lot of yelling and screaming, someone who has to be able to drum up attention. By the nature of the job, you have to be able to drum up attention."