Huma Abedin has decided to split with husband Anthony Weiner. By doing so she is ending one political drama as another is set to unfold. The private life of Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman is making headlines these days – but her greatest role may be alongside a future president.
Abedin went to work for Clinton as a 19-year-old White House intern and has been her indispensable aide for about a decade, working for Clinton through her 2008 presidential bid and during her tenure as secretary of state. Emails between Abedin and Clinton revealed by an investigation of Clinton’s email practices show Abedin coordinating travel for Clinton, managing access to her, and helping her with matters as small as operating a fax machine.
Abedin’s emerging role as a central figure in the likely return of Hillary Clinton to the White House may be only just beginning and in spite of Weiner’s sexting scandals, remains of far greater public interest.
In the fast-moving and insular bubble of campaign travel, Abedin can be seen constantly by Clinton’s side – she is often the last person Clinton talks to before going onstage and the first to congratulate the presidential nominee after she steps off the podium.
The close support and loyalty of the Clinton family may help Abedin deal with the unfortunate situation in her personal life. Both highly successful women already share the experience of overcoming public marital infidelity. Abedin’s decision to finally cut her husband loose could finally free one of Washington’s brightest up-and-coming political stars to emerge as a public figure in her own right.
Abedin’s notoriety was well-established before the public invasion of her privacy and has largely been a product of her seemingly tireless work ethic. One such testament to her life in public service transpired in 2012, when even Republicans rose to Abedin’s defense in a rare show of bipartisan support after a group of hard-right conservatives in the House of Representatives falsely pushed a conspiracy theory that she and other Muslim Americans had ties to the Muslim brotherhood and were seeking to infiltrate the US government.
Arizona Senator John McCain even took to the floor of the US Senate to rebuke what he deemed “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant”.
True, Huma Abedin has, or had, an idiot husband. But, she is showing that she can rise above that.
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