NBC Panelists: 'Great Representative' Anthony Weiner Deserves 'Second Chance'

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted a political comeback for disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner: "...he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance." The network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman gushed: "He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Attorney Star Jones was far more skeptical of the New York Democrat's political future: "Well, I'm not sure that he can ever get over that sort of rather unfortunate name that is connected to him. I mean, "Weiner," it could not be any better....I think people would forgive him but he would still be a laughingstock. I think the joke would always be there."

Deutsch and Snyderman objected to such common sense.  Deutsch helpfully advised: "...somebody's going to keep bringing that up. And then if your Anthony Weiner you say, 'Doesn't my competitor have anything else to talk about than my dumb mistake 5 years ago?'"

Snyderman reiterated her support: "He's very smart, he wants to serve. If he serves the people well and he just says, 'Look, I really, really made a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake.' Give him a second shot."


Here is a full transcript of the July 17 exchange:

8:09AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And back now at 8:09 with Today's Professionals, Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman are here to take on the buzz of today's stories. Good morning to you.

PANEL: Good morning.

GUTHRIE: Let's start with politics. Anthony Weiner, remember him? The former congressman who got on Twitter and accidentally tweeted a picture of himself, shall we say. There are some reports he may be looking to get back into local politics here in New York City. He's got a campaign war chest and friends and family have told some reporters that he was interested. Too soon or does he deserve a second chance in politics?

STAR JONES: Ad man, help me, because I – I have to bow to you.

DONNY DEUTSCH: I going to tell you, he – he will get a second chance, and here's why. Here's his – here's his speech: "I made a stupid mistake. And in the world of what I'll call scandal continuum, doing this virtual stuff is stupid. Since then, I've had a baby. I've paid my price. I lost my job, I was humiliated, and I am humbled. And I'm here to spend the rest of my life as a public servant." I think – and he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance.

GUTHRIE: You think people will buy that?

NANCY SNYDERMAN: I think Donny's right. I've interviewed him several times. He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he. He's a little bit wonkish. I think he's a very interesting person. And people do believe in redemption.

JONES: Well, I'm not sure that he can ever get over that sort of rather unfortunate name that is connected to him. I mean, "Weiner," it could not be any better, you can't make this stuff up. And this-

SNYDERMAN: As the New York Post knows.

JONES: Yeah. I mean, it's just, I think people would forgive him but he would still be a laughingstock. I think the joke would always be there-

SNYDERMAN: Oh, I don't know.

DEUTSCH: Let me war-game this out, when he runs against somebody, somebody's going to keep bringing that up. And then if your Anthony Weiner you say, "Doesn't my competitor have anything else to talk about than my dumb mistake 5 years ago?"

GUTHRIE: Well, redemption is one thing, but does it have to be public redemption?

SNYDERMAN: Oh, sure.

DEUTSCH: That's what he does for a living.

SNYDERMAN: He's a public servant.

DEUTSCH: It's what he does for a living.

SNYDERMAN: But you know, he's very smart, he wants to serve. If he serves the people well and he just says, "Look, I really, really made a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake." Give him a second shot.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC