In politics, there are losers and there are winners.And then there is Weiner.
Former U.S. representative and New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner is at it again, sharing with female fans more than the naked truth about his health care reform plan. Under the nom de plume Carlos Danger, Weiner made good on the adage that if at first you don’t succeed at sexting women other than your wife, you should resign, beg forgiveness and try again.
However, this ol’ college try apparently didn’t extend to picking a fake name that doesn’t bring a batch of snickers beyond those created by his actual moniker. Weiner is a pretty unfortunate surname considering the topic — although its been a boon for headline writers and late-night comics — but Carlos Danger? Danger is certainly fitting but the complete handle sounds more like a B-rate wanna-be spy rather than a grown man masquerading as cool pornographic superstar. Or, take a nod from footballer and dog fighter Michael Vick. He opted for “Ron Mexico” which should have tipped off anybody he was up to no good. Bobby Norway — now that’s an alias that just screams being on the up and up.
But back to Danger, I mean Weiner. He should know the porn name rule of using the name of one’s first pet and the street name of one’s childhood. Heck, maybe he had a puppy named Carlos and grew up on Danger Street. He certainly travels down it enough now.
Meanwhile, Eliot Spitzer is somewhere either a) cheering because his tarnished reputation suddenly has a new sheen in comparison to his nearest opponent in the second-chance politician category, or b) sweating profusely and hoping nobody figures out that Client Nine has moved on to being somebody else’s Client Ten or Twelve.
The real problem for Weiner is that he is a politician for a different time. A time, that is, when taking a candid photo of one’s junk and sharing it with another person or people took a little more effort and provided ample time for reflection. Prior to camera phones and the Internet, the process went something like this: Have idea that somebody else would actually want to see one’s man or lady parts up close and personal, fetch camera, check for film, snap photo, actually snap a couple because there is no immediate way to tell if the flash worked or the shot was in focus, drop film off at the local drug store for developing — an hour at the fastest! — pick up film, again consider the intelligence of this decision, put the picture in an envelope, buy a stamp if personal drop-off is not an option and finally deliver. Whew! The onerous multiple steps alone was enough to give the sender pause and decide a little heavy breathing on the phone might do the trick instead. Even the advent of the Polaroid didn’t speed up the process that much. Maybe that’s why earlier sex scandals only involved interns, wide stances or prostitutes. Much easier all around.
But Weiner lives in the cyber world Al Gore built and he better learn how to better balance his fetishes with his aspirations. Of course, if he’s so hell-bent on remaining in politics, perhaps Weiner should make a beeline for San Diego because his foibles look pretty vanilla compared to the allegations of sexual harassment lodged at the current mayor.
Or, maybe pack up and head to Missouri where his predilections might be a perfect fit. After all, it is the Show-Me State.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.