New Democratic National Committee boss Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is not acting like a feminist in the Weinergate scandal. In TV interviews, she’s been shutting the anchors down with no-comments ("it's a personal matter"). But what if Weiner did what’s alleged? Wouldn’t a liberal feminist suggest that’s objectionable and not just a “private matter”?
Take Wasserman-Schultz at the end of an interview on CBS’s Early Show on Friday morning:
CHRIS WRAGGE: I know you were born in Queens, which is the home district of congressman Anthony Weiner, who's embroiled in quite the controversy right now. Do you think that your colleague has done enough to explain himself?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think Anthony Weiner is dealing with a personal matter and that's where it should be left.
WRAGGE: Do you think he's done enough to explain himself though?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think it's a personal matter and that's where it should be left.
In a CNN blog, reporter Dana Bash quoted a harsher version. The DNC chair said it was “inappropriate” for other members of Congress to discuss: "It's his Twitter account. It's his deal. It's personal. It's not something that's appropriate for another member to comment on. It's something he is dealing with personally and that's where I think it should be left." Wasserman Schultz was completely robotic in shutting out anchors on CNN on Thursday. First, this exchange on The Situation Room:
WOLF BLITZER: Let's talk about your colleague, Anthony Weiner. I noticed on the House floor, you had an animated conversation with him today. What were you talking to him about?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I was actually just talking to him about the votes that we were -- that we were casting at the moment. And just, you know, kibitzing with him a little bit. But you know, what Anthony Weiner is dealing with right now is a personal matter, and that's -- that's where it should be left.
BLITZER: Listen to what Steny Hoyer said today. He gave him some advice. He's the number two Democrat in the House. I'll play the clip.
REP. STENY HOYER: He and I had a discussion. I told him that he needed to handle this and need to give the facts to the public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has he done that to your satisfaction?
HOYER: Frankly, I've not been following it. [!] So I don't know whether he's done that.
BLITZER: Do you agree with Steny Hoyer?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Like I said, I think this is a personal matter, and that's how it should be left.
BLITZER: Because Eric Cantor, the Republican, the majority leader in the House of Representatives, he says that Anthony Weiner has a lot more explaining to do, if you will.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Anthony Weiner is dealing with a personal matter, and it should be left as a personal matter.
BLITZER: Do you believe that someone did hack into his account and -- and send out that picture, as he says?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think Anthony Weiner is dealing with a personal matter and that is where it should be left.
Then the same effort (more half-hearted) came during John King, USA on the same night:
JESSICA YELLIN: I've heard you say that the Anthony Weiner Twitter problem is a personal matter for him.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It is.
YELLIN: But some Democrats themselves are complaining that this is a distraction and he needs to be more forthcoming. So do you just wish he'd come out with more of the facts to make this go away?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I really think it's a personal matter that is something that Anthony Weiner needs to deal with himself.
YELLIN: And you won't call for him or asking him privately to do more?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I don't do that when it comes to personal matters.
Bash did find one Democrat to speak impatiently on the record:
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a member of the House Democratic Leadership told me today, Wolf, that Democratic leaders have talked to Anthony Weiner and told him that they really want him to stop what they call this political distraction. And this frustrated member of the House Democratic leadership team, as you said, told me -- he described the performance that Weiner had this week as, quote, "painful" and said that they told Weiner he's got to, quote, "put a period at the end of the sentence." Either clear things up with this lewd photograph, allegedly sent from his Twitter account, or to stop talking.
And other rank-and-file Democrats I talked to agreed.
BASH (voice-over): Walk the halls of Congress and hear this from some of Anthony Weiner's Democratic colleagues.
REP. BILL PASCRELL (D-NJ): I like Anthony Weiner. I think he's a great public servant. But only Anthony Weiner can clean this up, and it's becoming a distraction. There's no two ways about it.
BASH: Democrat Bill Pascrell telling CNN on the record what several others told us privately.
PASCRELL: These things don't go away. They hang on like a disease. I mean, you can't make this stuff up. But Tony is the only one that can clear it up. And I hope he does as soon as possible.