In defense of Huma

2. Abedin herself is a savvy political operative. You don’t get to be Clinton’s confidant and senior advisor by making uncalculated professional or personal choices. Until her husband’s mayoral campaign, Abedin’s calculation was to stay largely behind the scenes. “For years I spent my professional life at the back of the room, far from the stage or the microphone,” she writes in an upcoming Harper’s Bazaar feature. “People tell me they’re surprised to see me out on the campaign trail, I understand because, trust me, no one is more surprised than I am.” Emerging to speak to the press yesterday was no casual choice. The first time Weinergate broke in 2011, she—like Clinton—chose to not appear with her husband. She would not be the beleaguered and devastated Silda Spitzer who stood next to Eliot in 2008. Yesterday Abedin knew the decision she was making to speak on her husband’s behalf, and, it as a choice that most likely takes into account her own political future, potentially as chief of staff to the nation’s first woman president, as well as her personal future, as mother to a 20-month old, Jordan.

3. Abedin did not “stand by” her husband at yesterday’s press conference. She stood diagonally off to the side from him. She did not hold his hand. She did not touch him, and her body language made sure he did not touch her. Her posture seemed uncomfortable, yet resolute. She was present, yes, but she was her own person. And her smile—as it always does—stole the show. She was practically radiant at times, and her presence and demeanor prompted cries for “Huma for Mayor” across social media.

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