Embattled candidate Anthony D. Weiner faced mounting pressure Sunday to reconsider his mayoral ambitions in New York City after he confessed last week to swapping illicit messages and photos with women on s social media — a practice he now admits continued even after he resigned from Congress in 2011 because of similar acts.
The Democrat’s campaign manager, Danny Kedem, has resigned from the campaign, and a New York congressman said Sunday that Mr. Weiner is “not psychologically qualified to be mayor of the city of New York.”
“I have nothing personal against Anthony. We didn’t always get along, but I have nothing personal,” Rep. Peter T. King, a Republican, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is a real pathological problem here with him. I mean, how he could be out there knowing all this information was going to come out? … I think he should do himself and everybody a favor and just step to the sidelines.”
Mr. Weiner’s admitted to continuing his sexual online habits at an awkward news conference with his wife, Huma Abedin, by his side last week, but he vowed to stay in the race and predicted the outrage over his sexting would die down. Ms. Abedin is a close adviser to former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Weiner revelations coincided with mounting allegations that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner sexually harassed women on his staff. Mr. Filner said Friday he will undergo two weeks of intensive therapy in August to address his problems, but he also brushed aside pressure from his fellow Democrats to step aside.
On Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, joined the chorus of people who think Mr. Filner should resign.
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“Of all people, Bob Filner knows what public life is like,” the state’s senior senator told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He served a time in the House. Being mayor of a big city, you’re a role model for people. You’re either an inspiration to people or you aren’t.”
Taken together, the bicoastal scandals have sparked a debate on contrition and political survival in America when it comes to men behaving badly.
Earlier this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, condemned both men’s behavior as disrespectful to women. She said that if they need therapy to deal with their habits, they should do it “in private.”
Mr. Weiner was forced to address his actions, which he conducted under the online pseudonym “Carlos Danger,” after gossip website The Dirty acquired the explicit photos and text messages the mayoral candidate sent to an online acquaintance.
Mr. Kedem, his 31-year-old campaign manager, decided to quit the Weiner campaign within the past two days, The New York Times reported.
Mr. Weiner has so far rejected calls to drop out of the mayoral race, prompting political analysts to question how long he can stay in the race. A poll taken after the revelations last week found the former congressman was no longer the front-runner in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
“At this point, it’s absurd,” said David Axelrod, a political analyst and former aide to President Obama, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He is not going to be the next mayor of New York.”
Christine Quinn, speaker of the City Council and one of Mr. Weiner’s top opponents for mayor, said the former congressman has shown a “lack of maturity and responsibility” and never had the chops to take on the biggest job in the Big Apple.
“This is the greatest city in the world,” she told NBC, “and it has potential to be even better.”