A high-paying job, a TV role and even a return to his old job in Congress, These are all among the options former Rep. Anthony Weiner has to consider in his first weekend as a man freed from elected office
Despite his abject humiliation, life could be a lot worse for Weiner as he and wife Huma Abedin take a break in the millionaires’ playground Hamptons area of New York.
When they shopped at a King Kullen supermarket just three hours after the circus-like press conference that drew a curtain on his 12 years in the House, he was even humming along to a doo-wop
number playing over the store’s sound system, the New York Post reports.
“He was singing along to one of the love songs. Just under his breath,” a witness at the Manorville, Long Island supermarket said. “She (Huma) was all smiles. She didn't look upset or anything.”
Porn publisher Larry Flynt was quick to offer Weiner full-time work, saying he would give him a “serious” job in his Hustler empire, paying him 20 percent more than he got in Congress and even paying him to relocate from New York to Los Angeles.
That would push Weiner’s salary up to $208,800, a nice chunk of change, especially with Abedin earning somewhere between $123,758 and $155,500 in her job as aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In an open letter to Weiner, Flynt, who offered $1 million to anyone who could find a Republican sex scandal in the wake of the Clinton impeachment hearings, said he was making the job offer “due to your qualifications and clear passion for making a change.”
He added, “I feel that your unfortunate resignation is a prime example of unfounded political pressure and the hypocrisy that has invaded democracy in Washington, D.C. I hope you will sincerely consider this offer, and I look forward to your response.'
Weiner also has the chance to make a name for himself on “Entourage,” the HBO show about a Hollywood star and his three sidekicks – all of whom come from Queens, the New York borough in which Brooklyn-born Weiner now lives. Executive director Doug Ellin offer Weiner a cameo role playing himself before Thursday afternoon’s resignation speech but so far has not had a response.
A more likely path for Weiner is to go the Eliot Spitzer route and follow the former New York governor into a high-paying role on one of the cable news networks. He was already a favorite on TV for his forthright views.
Spitzer had to wait a little more than two years from the time he was brought down in a prostitution scandal to the start of his CNN show and a similar period in the wilderness would probably apply to Weiner, too.
Then there is the possibility of a return to politics. Though it seems his ambition to run for Mayor of New York in 2013 is now dead, there has been speculation that he could run for his own seat in a special election likely to be held this fall.
National Journal chief congressional correspondent, Major Garrett floated the idea within hours of Weiner’s resignation. Other options Garrett said are for a well-paid sinecure in a left-leaning think tank and to turn his scandal into profit through a tell-all book.
Even without work, Weiner has a pension worth an estimated $1.2 million awaiting him. That would bring him $46,224 a year if he puts off collecting it until he is 62. If he decides to take it when he reaches 56 in 2020 it would be reduced to $32,356.
He is also said to have a blue chip stock portfolio worth some $300,000, say people close to him.
And like all former members of Congress, Weiner still has some minor perks. He can still use the House gym, the very one that he used as a background for some of his tweeted pictures, for instance. He can enjoy free parking at a prime spot near Capitol Hill and he can even go on the floor of the House for joint sessions, should he want to reminisce on old times with the colleagues who finally got fed up with him and told him to quit.
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