The unraveling of Anthony Weiner

“He looks a guy who’s at the deep end of the pool and he really doesn’t know how to swim. For a guy whose whole reputation was how smart a political guy he was, how good he was on camera, how quick witted he was, this is part of the process of unraveling,” said Bill Cunningham, a former communications director for Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Weiner’s got two options, Cunningham said: Keep taking questions that prompt more incredible answers or refuse to speak about the scandal and get accused of going into hiding.

“Either way,” Cunningham said, “he’s caught in this spiral.” …

Several Democrats who knew him when he was in Congress believe the recent display is who Weiner actually is — an unvarnished version, perhaps, stripped of the protection of a government office and membership to the Washington club, but the real Weiner nonetheless.

“Remember, this is someone who thought he was unfairly pushed from office,” said one source, referring to the initial days of scandal in 2011, when he admitted to sending messages he’d initially claimed were the work of hackers. In private conversations with Democratic leadership at the time, Weiner defiantly insisted he shouldn’t have to quit, since he had broken no laws and his mistakes were personal failings, multiple sources said.