But there’s another question about Huma Abedin—and her husband—that goes beyond the sad spectacle of Weiner’s starvation for public approval and his wife’s strange willingness to abet his misplaced ambition. Abedin should be a bit embarrassed herself over a remarkable sweetheart deal she got from her friends—in and out of government—after her maternity leave from her high-level State Department job with its impressive title: deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Clinton.
It worked like this: instead of being a full-time government employee, she now was a special government employee—“essentially a consultant,” as the New York Times described it. She was allowed to work from home—her New York home—rather than report to State headquarters in Washington. But she retained her high-blown title, along with a salary of $135,000 a year—for unspecified duties. All the while, she undertook outside consulting responsibilities with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, as well as with a strategic-consulting firm run by former Bill Clinton adviser Doug Band. She also had an outside job arrangement with Mrs. Clinton, helping in the secretary’s transition out of her cabinet position.
It isn’t clear to what extent these outside arrangements augmented her $135,000 government salary, but Anthony Weiner revealed in a disclosure statement, required by his mayoral candidacy, that the couple earned $490,000 in 2012, during the time of Abedin’s special arrangement at State and when her husband toiled as some kind of consultant himself.
Nice work if you can get it. But most people can’t get it.