Chuck Schumer doesn’t have anything to say about Anthony Weiner right now
Chuck Schumer offered a predictably brief answer to a question about Anthony Weiner this morning.
"It's much, much too early to talk about that," said Schumer, when asked about the possibility of his former aide entering the mayor's race, after a press conference on new federal help for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Asking if he had had conversations with Weiner about it, Schumer said, "I'm just not going to talk about the mayor's race."
And that was it.
From the first reports of his errant twitter messages, Schumer seemed pained by Weiner's predicament.
While the scandal was unfolding, Schumer said he was "virtually certain" that Weiner hadn't done anything wrong, and later put out a statement that he was "deeply pained and saddened" after Weiner admitted to his transgressions.
Schumer also stood by him, for as long as he reasonably could, saying he supported Weiner's initial decision not to resign, and that his political future should be in the hands of Weiner's constituents.
When the steady drip of allegations failed to stop, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi threatened to strip Weiner of his committee assignments in the House, there was speculation that all it would take was a nudge from Schumer.
Weiner eventually did resign, but if Schumer had any impact on that decision, he never said so publicly, and instead issued a solemn but solicitous statement:
“On this sad day, we should not forget that Anthony Weiner was an effective and passionate advocate for the people he represented in Brooklyn and Queens. He has served his community, city, and country well for over two decades. I wish him, Huma, and his family only the best.”
That kind of affirmation could only help Weiner, by propping up his record before the scandal and maybe even offering a little cover from his former congressional colleagues.
(When I asked Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who has already endorsed Christine Quinn for mayor, for her thoughts after the press conference, she jokingly parroted Schumer: "It's too early to talk about the mayor's race," she said. "I just listened to a smart politician, and that's how he's handling it.")
Schumer, who generally avoids picking sides in Democratic primaries, he already has one former aide, Daniel Squadron, running for public advocate, which happens to be the one citywide office Weiner has dismissed as a possibility, according to that New York Times profile.