NEW YORK — Defiant and combative no longer, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner soberly announced his resignation from Congress on Thursday, bowing to the furor caused by his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women.
Democratic Party leaders, concerned that Weiner could weigh the party down in the 2012 elections, welcomed the announcement after days spent trying to coax, push and finally coerce the wayward 46-year-old into quitting. Known as brash, liberal and ambitious, Weiner had run for mayor of New York in 2005 and had been expected to do so again. He was in his seventh term in Congress.
At an appearance in Brooklyn that drew hecklers as well as supporters, Weiner apologized “for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused,” particularly to his wife, Huma Abedin.
Pregnant with the couple’s first child, she was absent as she had been 10 days ago when Weiner first admitted sending inappropriate messages and photos to women online — after earlier denying emphatically he had done so.
In his brief farewell appearance, Weiner said he initially hoped the controversy would fade but then realized “the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.”