Via the Examiner, I’m going to give Hayes the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s pandering to his audience in saying this, not that he really believes it. His reputation for being “cerebral” may be overstated but there ain’t no way no how no chance this guy’s sincerely convinced by the “logic” that because a candidate has been forgiven by his spouse for wrongdoing, the electorate should forgive too. If Huma can tolerate Weiner’s seemingly pathological need for affirmation by sexting with random women, that’s great; why a voter would tolerate it, I have no idea. At a bare minimum, you’re electing a punchline to run your city. More substantively, you’re putting government in the hands of a guy who’s likely to end up distracted by future scandals, whose behavior is so recklessly compulsive that he carried on with it after he was forced from office because of it (and reportedly received not nearly enough therapy afterward), who’s possibly exposed himself to blackmail over his indiscretions, and who’s showed a willingness to lie his way through this that even his own friends admit is “sociopathic.” In fact, so freakishly reckless and careerist is Weiner that he allegedly discussed his plans to run for mayor with the woman he was sexting with, someone he knew could imperil those plans (and has) simply by revealing what they were doing. This isn’t a man who had a fling and then remorsefully ‘fessed up. This is someone who’s been forced into holding multiple press conferences over the span of years to try to explain why self-taken photos of his junk keep surfacing on the Internet. Somehow Huma’s check-the-box “leave him alone” statement washes all of that away, huh?

Here’s the real significance of her statement yesterday. It’s not that she sincerely “persuaded” Hayes or anyone else; what she did was provide a peg for the talking point he’s using here, that because she’s blessed his candidacy, his sins are more or less absolved. She’s the wronged woman. Per the rules of American political discourse, that means she enjoys unquestioning moral authority no matter how creepy her and Weiner’s careerist, affectless performances were yesterday and no matter how much, as Larry O’Connor puts it, she’s wittingly or unwittingly enabling him by acting as human shield for his political ambitions. The media’s in raptures over her — Mika Brzezinski is an especially overwrought example — partly because she’s the one sympathetic figure in all this (or was) and partly because she’s a de facto Clinton family member and therefore Democratic royalty. That’s how a rote, pro forma “stop endangering my husband’s ambitions” plea to the media becomes “impressive” rather than a cheap attempt to let Weiner hide behind his wife’s skirt.

By the way, when asked last night why he chose the handle “Carlos Danger,” Carlos Danger replied that he has no idea what people are talking about. Huma forgives him, though, so I guess we’ll let that slide.