Obama: Weiner’s “a distraction”; Update: Not yet applied for leave of absence?

posted at 1:30 pm on June 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

How bad has Weinergate become for Democrats?  Earlier today, the White House issued the first presidential commentary on Anthony Weiner’s scandal, scolding the Congressman for both his behavior and the lies he told to cover up his actions.  However, Jay Carney declined to pass along any of Barack Obama’s thoughts on whether Weiner should resign:

“The President feels, we feel at the White house  this is a distraction,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on board Air Force One when they asked about the unravelling developments. “Obviously as Rep. Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate. Dishonesty was inappropriate.”

But Carney refused to go the next step and call for Weiner to resign from Congress.

The reluctance to publicly demand a resignation may get some criticism, but it’s probably best to avoid such a call.  The legislative branch should be left to handle its own affairs, and a President does best to stay out of those kinds of demands … publicly, at least.  The role of demanding a resignation should be left to Congressional leaders.  Otherwise, it threatens (at least rhetorically) the independence and co-equality of the branches of government.

Of course, the fact that Obama had to issue any kind of statement on Weiner is an obvious escalation in the effort to push Weiner into a resignation.  By making this statement, the message is made clear that Weiner does not have the support of the President, especially when scolding Weiner for his dishonesty.  It piles on more pressure on Weiner, and it also tells him that Democrats are not inclined to allow the scandal to quietly go away as Weiner clearly hopes.

This is about as far as Obama can go in public.  I’d guess that he’s going a great deal farther in private.

Update: John Boehner wonders when Weiner plans to apply for his leave of absence:

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman blasted out a list of #Weinergate questions on Monday, ripping Rep. Anthony Weiner for not yet having filed his official request for a “leave of absence” from Congress.

“The Leaders of each representative conference/caucus sign formal requests for a leave of absence,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “Will Leader Pelosi sign Rep. Weiner’s formal request for a leave of absence? If Rep. Weiner fails to ask for a formal leave of absence (rather than simply saying he intends to take one via press release), then he will officially be AWOL while still being paid by taxpayers.  What will Leader Pelosi do if he fails to ask for a formal leave of absence?”

It’s unclear what medical reason Weiner plans to use for a formal leave of absence and his spokesman, Dave Arnold, has not returned The Daily Caller’s requests on that matter. “Sex addiction” is not considered a mental disease or sickness, though, according to current American Psychiatric Association (APA) standards. In 2013, the APA plans to release updated standards, at which point sex addiction may be included as a disease or sickness. But, there’s no guarantee.

Boehner also questioned whether Nancy Pelosi would formally request the ethics probe she announced last week.  Pelosi sent out a letter, Steel says, but that hasd “all the force and effect of a Post-It note.”  Until then, Boehner also wonders whether Weiner will be welcomed to House Democratic Caucus meetings.  On that last point, I’m pretty sure Boehner should have no worries.  Right now, he’s probably not going to feel too welcome in his own house, let alone the House of Representatives.

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NO. I don’t believe Obama.

I believe he loves this, for the time being.

It distracts from Obama’s domestic and int’l clusterfarks, the ObL story having long since died.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

A distraction? Dang right. If only we were monitoring that far left president better… then our stomachs would really churn.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

This is a distraction, huh? From what? The story about how your guy at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sh!t-canned the Yucca Mountain project as a way to win support for yourself in Nevada and to save Harry Reid’s bacon?

teke184 on June 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Weiner does not have the support of the President, especially when scolding Weiner for his dishonesty.

Huh, I wonder what would happen if Obama got scolded for his dishonesty?

Electrongod on June 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

“Why Isn’t Obama saying more about Weiner?!!!?” That meme needs to be pushed hard.

GoodBoy on June 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Obama: Weiner’s “a distraction”

“I wanna talk about me. Wanna talk about I. Wanna talk about number one”

Caper29 on June 13, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Of course it’s a distraction. How does Weinergate help Michelle’s kids?

Doughboy on June 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Otherwise, it threatens (at least rhetorically) the independence and co-equality of the branches of government.

Still, Obama believe himself a monarch.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Beer summit?

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

“Why Isn’t Obama saying more about Weiner?!!!?” That meme needs to be pushed hard.

GoodBoy on June 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I bet he wants to!

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Figures that this would be the situation where the admin would become disciplined with their rhetoric.

Dog walker on June 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Michelle wants to know why Weiner never friended her.

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Congressman Weiner acted stupidly.

Knucklehead on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

scolding the Congressman for both his behavior and the lies he told

Look in the mirror, Failbama. And no Weiner is the perfect illustration of the democrat party. All the sleaze you can imagine, twenty four hours a day.

It’s what you are skippy.

We’ll make time to holler about the economy, don’t you sweat it!

dogsoldier on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

“OBAMA SLAMS WEINER”
News at 11

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

It sure is a distraction isn’t it bho? The news is 24/7 on this slug and the news off how horrible America is now under bho. And the funny thing, bho has the gall to go after someone who lies? When has bho ever told the truth? When has anyone around bho ever told the truth? Gads bho is beyond slimy pointing his skinny finger at someone who does as he does!
L

letget on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Hey Obama!
Want some relish with that Weiner?

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Dishonesty was inappropriate

 
Wow.

rogerb on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Beer summit? BBQ Weiner summit you mean!

Political Chef on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

“OBAMA SLAMS WEINER”
News at 11

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

He’s been doing that repeatedly for about 2.5 years now, but the media has made him seem like a genius for doing so.

teke184 on June 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM

That’s not the Weiner I thought I knew!

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Beer summit?

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Sausage Summit!

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Wasn’t Weiner a Hill loyalist and wasn’t he sort of a pain in the butt for Teh One when it came to “selling” Obamacare? I’d think Obama would have wanted him gone a long time ago.

MeatHeadinCA on June 13, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Again, the question has to be asked: If this was a Republican who had pulled something like Weiner has done here and is still doing here, would we even be in the 3rd week of this circus by this time like we are now?

I don’t think so.

pilamaye on June 13, 2011 at 1:42 PM

The fact that he lied about it doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that his lies were based on accusing other people of wrong doing and committing crimes.

Blake on June 13, 2011 at 1:42 PM

I’ve read the Larry Sinclair stuff and I know Obama wears a little girly helmet when his rides his tricyle. Even so, I am simply amazed the White House would openly admit that Obama is distracted by Weiners.

flyfisher on June 13, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Obama’s Weiner whine:

“I confess that if all that I knew of Tony Weiner were the snippets of those tweets that have run in an endless loop on the television and YouTube, or if the images he sent to underage girls conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way. But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man.”

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Weiner Future

faraway on June 13, 2011 at 1:43 PM

“I can no more disown him than I can disown my own Weiner.”

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Dishonesty was inappropriate

 
Wow.
 
rogerb on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

 
Sorry. I just realized there should’ve been an
 

in this instance

 
there. It’s okay to lie in order to reach a selfless goal like Obamacare, stickin’ it to the rich, “helping” crucial voting blocs blue collar workers, damaging a foreign car company in hopes of selling your newly-acquired company’s cars, etc. It just wasn’t appropriate for something as trivial as this.

rogerb on June 13, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Yepper meathead…stand corrected

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Obama – “Weiner is a distraction”

AKA- there is only room for my narcissism in Washington and you are not welcome once you encroach on mine!

Bill Clinton- ” He should resign”

AKA – There is only room for one swordsman here!

bluemarlin on June 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM

World Headlines:

“US PRESIDENT ADMITS WEINER DISTRACTION”

Sure to make the world love us again.

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM

One of his favorite expressions, isn’t it?

Incidentally, am I the only one cynical enough to see politics in the fact that those photos of Rep. Giffords taken May 18 just happened to be released Sunday, June 12?

After all, the best defense to a distraction that’s distracting the president is to distract the distraction with another distraction, isn’t it?

Drained Brain on June 13, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Dishonesty was inappropriate

Wow.

rogerb on June 13, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Double wow.

forest on June 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Osama Obama’s dishonesty and behavior have been an “unnecessary distraction” for more than three years.

Oddly enough, though he can have — and has had — a negative effect on far more people than Weiner ever could, no one seems to have the courage to stand up and tell him it’s time for him to stand aside.

Oh, well. The nattering political junkies love seeing the Traitor-in-Chief in office. They can titter about his foibles while he destroys the nation….

MrScribbler on June 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

It’s unclear what medical reason Weiner plans to use for a formal leave of absence and his spokesman

If Weenie can just hold off on the leave request until Huma gets home, he will have all sorts of legitimate medical reasons to request time away.

Bishop on June 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Obowma loves Weiner…

Seven Percent Solution on June 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

“Inappropriate”?

I like Ambrose Bierce’s definition of “inappropriate”: attempting to hold diving services during a dog fight in church.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I’m shocked. He forgot to properly apply for his leave of absence before he booked in the ’88 Pathfinder with fake plates?

forest on June 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Why can’t Boehner call for his own investigation? He is the Speaker of The House, right?

SouthernGent on June 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I think Weiner should delay a hearing, due to the 2013 APA decision – and let Dems support him on that…

A Bill Clinton Writ of Habeus Corpus would seal the deal.

Odie1941 on June 13, 2011 at 1:54 PM

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman blasted out a list of #Weinergate questions on Monday, ripping Rep. Anthony Weiner for not yet having filed his official request for a “leave of absence” from Congress.

DUH…..TWEETING!!

PappyD61 on June 13, 2011 at 1:54 PM

WH: “Keep the Weiner”

faraway on June 13, 2011 at 1:54 PM

“OBAMA SLAMS WEINER”
News at 11

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM

:-)

SouthernGent on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Huh, I wonder what would happen if Obama got scolded for his dishonesty?

Electrongod on June 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Apparently, the O does not like it one bit.

“What the f-ck was that!?”

Fallon on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Where are you southern gent? Dear leader is on Durham right now

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I’m shocked. He forgot to properly apply for his leave of absence before he booked in the ’88 Pathfinder with fake plates?
forest on June 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

The non union produced Japanese Nissan Pathfinder with the plates from a non union produced Honda Accord.

Bishop on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

“Dishonesty was inappropriate.”

You’re one to talk you lying sack of crap.

jawkneemusic on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

On in

cmsinaz on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

“It’s unclear what medical reason Weiner plans to use for a formal leave of absence…”

.
Why, priapism, of course.

mrt721 on June 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I like Ambrose Bierce’s definition of “inappropriate”: attempting to hold diving divine services during a dog fight in church.

Need… better… grammar….

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I’m shocked. He forgot to properly apply for his leave of absence before he booked in the ’88 Pathfinder with fake plates?

forest on June 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I dont get why he got such an old car, and with faked plates!
Living on the edge?

the_nile on June 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Obama: “Weinergate is a distraction. I have a lot of work to do.”

20 minutes later: “Fore!”

visions on June 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Huh, I wonder what would happen if Obama got scolded for his dishonesty?

Electrongod on June 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

See: Joe Wilson, “You Lie.”

But, to answer your question – nothing.

UltimateBob on June 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Obowma chooses not to get his hands around Weiner…

Seven Percent Solution on June 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

WEINER, TONY WEINER!
What kind of libs love TONY WEINER?
Rich libs, poor libs, libs who live under rocks
fat libs, skin-ny libs, ev-en libs who hate the Kochs
love WEINER, TONY WEINER
The prog libs love to bite!

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Obowma urges gentle approach in handling Weiner…

Seven Percent Solution on June 13, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Maybe Ferret Face is going to wait until the 11th hour then request a leave of absence and check into a Drug Rehab once he has his script right. His behavior certainly wouldn’t be out of line for a coke-head and I’m certain there are a lot of libtards that can relate with drugs getting the best of you. It’s plausible, it’s a rampant ‘illness’, and it tugs at the heart strings of his ilk, but it’s not as ‘icky’ as sex addiction to his wife and her sympathizers.

FlatFoot on June 13, 2011 at 2:01 PM

There was a time that the pictures lane would have sunk him! Maybe in the world of today that time has passed. There was a time that just the suggestion of talking to minors would have sunk him or worse. We actually know he was talking to at least one and maybe more! Is that time passed as well? There was also a time that getting caught lying to absolutely everyone while trying to smear and blame another man would sink a politician.

Has it really come to this here and now? He has done all three and he still has some defenders and voters who are just not caring so much about what he did. The only reason the Dem politicians care is because he is hurting their message NOT because of what he did. The press back in the day, liberal as they are, used to crucify politicians that used them to pass lies and got caught doing it. Maybe that was only to save face but they did do it, now, not so much.

How sad a state of affairs we have fallen into in these United States of America.

bluemarlin on June 13, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Awesome sentence in Fox News story:
“But lawmakers asked to weigh in appear unwilling to go near the toxic Weiner.

KeepOhioRed on June 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Boehner needs to focus on why the congress spends so much on int’l flights, in times like these, having vowed for cuts.

Weiner’s problems are the lefties’ challenge. May he stay in congress, Weiner that is.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM

“But lawmakers asked to weigh in appear unwilling to go near the toxic Weiner.“

KeepOhioRed on June 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM

They wouldn’t touch that Weiner with Obama’s hands.

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Which is worse on the Obama scale of badness?

Being “inappropriate” or “acting stupidly”?

KeepOhioRed on June 13, 2011 at 2:06 PM

After all, the best defense to a distraction that’s distracting the president is to distract the distraction with another distraction, isn’t it?

Drained Brain on June 13, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Great post.

GrannySunni on June 13, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Jug Eared failed experiment is speaking live on Fox in SC about how he inherited all these job problems but touting how well the economy actually is.

I turned the channel. Can not listen to him.

carbon_footprint on June 13, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Obama feels it’s dishonest to tell lies, yet lies on a daily basis, and creates distractions wherever he can, to distract people from his inept, corrupt, deceitful administration, and policies.

Perfect. The blind leading the blind. *sigh*

capejasmine on June 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Obama drops bombshell at news conference:

“I LIKE WEINER”

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Michelle liked Weiner too, and then she discovered the joy to be found in mass quantities of lobster (sometimes shrimp).

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I don’t think Tweeterism is a recognized disease yet. But it should be. Both for Tweeterdum and Tweeterdee.
As for the this is a distraction meme. Huh? From what? The failed economy? Obama trying to give Russia highly classified missile technology? The musings of his jobs czar? The obvious corruption of the DOJ? The EPA running rampant over energy production and manufacturing? The Israeli sellout? The arming of the Mexican cartel in an apparent bid to close down gun sales?
Or from his golf game?

pat on June 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

The reluctance to publicly demand a resignation may get some criticism, but it’s probably best to avoid such a call.

Egypt. Libya. Syria…

He’ll wait until he thinks the situation has solidified before he jumps in with his opinion. Until then, its just a distraction.

taznar on June 13, 2011 at 2:18 PM

The non union produced Japanese Nissan Pathfinder with the plates from a non union produced Honda Accord.

Bishop on June 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

That’s gonna leave a mark.

slickwillie2001 on June 13, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Obowma wants to hide the Weiner…

Seven Percent Solution on June 13, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I dont get why he got such an old car, and with faked plates!
Living on the edge?

the_nile on June 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

His car is older than half the girls he was perving on. The guy is just a loser, and also a rising star of the Democrat party.

forest on June 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM

It’s unclear what medical reason Weiner plans to use for a formal leave of absence and his spokesman, Dave Arnold, has not returned The Daily Caller’s requests on that matter.

How about @ssholery.

rbj on June 13, 2011 at 2:26 PM

The legislative branch should be left to handle its own affairs, and a President does best to stay out of those kinds of demands … publicly, at least. The role of demanding a resignation should be left to Congressional leaders. Otherwise, it threatens (at least rhetorically) the independence and co-equality of the branches of government.

Yeah, because Obama has always been a real stickler for observing separation of powers, whether in fact or in appearance.

/s

Midas on June 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM

maybe he’s gonna renew his truck tags before he applies for the leave of absence??

he may have to drive to rehab, yaknow.

ted c on June 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

He’s working with his PR flaks to determine which mental disorder to claim on his leave paperwork. Be patient, they’ll find one soon. Mrs. Ween is on her way back.

Philly on June 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Maybe he could talk away the gym pics a la Janet Jackson by saying it was a ‘wardrobe malfunction’

oops.

ted c on June 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Awesome sentence in Fox News story:
“But lawmakers asked to weigh in appear unwilling to go near the toxic Weiner.“
KeepOhioRed

Didn’t Toxic Weiner have a couple of hits in the 70s?

Drained Brain on June 13, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Didn’t Toxic Weiner have a couple of hits in the 70s?

Drained Brain on June 13, 2011 at 2:35 PM

a few of them may have been done by Twisted Sister.

ted c on June 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM

The Mrs. Wenis is going to beat this guy senseless with a frying pan when she gets back. HRC is going to hand her sh!t to throw at him too. Scissors, meat cleavers, hammers….all of it.

ted c on June 13, 2011 at 2:41 PM

ted c on June 13, 2011 at 2:41 PM

The Weiner and Bobbit Show!

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

You are on a roll today!

glennbo on June 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Anything not in praise of The One is a distraction.

GarandFan on June 13, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Claire Shipman, the wife of Jay Carney, the bigger moron than Gibbsy, is one too.

Schadenfreude on June 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM

glennbo on June 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I am a mere padwan to Master Jedi ted c

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 3:18 PM

You know, I always knew Obama had his eye on the Weiner…

Roy Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Wiener still telling America “to stick it!”

chickasaw42 on June 13, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Wiener still telling America “to stick it!” Democrats left hanging.

chickasaw42 on June 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Meh, he’s a pathetic exhibitionist. But he needs to work out more seriously to get rid of that modest muffin top he has.

{^_^}

herself on June 14, 2011 at 7:49 AM