Weiner appeared uncomfortable as he approached the microphones, but was comforted mildly by applause from his supporters. He began with a brief history of his political life, and went on to say:
There is no higher honor in a democracy than being sent by your neighbors to represent them in the United States House of Representatives. It has been particularly humbling to represent this district because the communities and familiesare hard-working, patriotic, opinionated and authenticI am here today to again apologize for the mistakes that I have made and the embarrassment that I have causedI had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district hired me to doto fight for the middle class who are struggling to make it. Unfortunately the distraction that I have created has made that impossible. Today, I am announcing my resignation from Congress.
Weiners announcement received some applause, and one particularly vocal critic in the crowd could be heard shouting, Bye, bye, pervert! That same critic could be heard through the remainder of Weiners announcement, forcing Weiner to pause for at times in order not to compete with the clearly angered constituent.
Weiner went on to thank his colleagues, accrediting both the Democratic and Republican members of Congress as patriots, and articulated gratitude for the support he has received from his staff, family, and friends.
I got into politics to help give voice to the many people who simply did not have one. Now Ill be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American ideal. The idea that a family, a community, and ultimately a country is the one thing that all unites us the one thing that we are all focused on. With Gods help and with hard work, we will all be successful.
Weiner did not wait around for any questions from reporters. In four minutes, he announced the end of his career, though some contend Weiner may have implied a possibility of returning to politics in the future.
Those close to the Congressman reported that he was in a distressed and tumultuous emotional state prior to the conference, but Weiner managed to remain composed, though clearly humbled, during the conference.
In just three weeks time, Weiner went from pursuing what appeared to be a long and promising career in politics to the subject of scandal and scorn.
Evidence that the Congressman was engaged in a number of online affairs was revealed when lewd photos of a mans bulging pants were accidently sent to the public via Weiners Twitter account. Weiner first denied that he was involved, citing that he was the victim of a hacker. When asked, however, if the photo was in fact of Weiner, he said, I cant say with certitude.
It was quickly discovered that the photo was intended for Seattle college student, Gennette Nicole Cardova, and before long, five other women came forward and admitted that they too engaged in online relationships with the Congressman, bearing Facebook and Twitter messages as proof.
Weiner was forced to confess to his indiscretions during a press conference last week, wherein he declared, At the end of the day, I lied because embarrassed. I did not want to get caught.
Following Weiners confession, more specific details were revealed regarding Weiners relationships. The scandal was exacerbated when evidence that Weiner personally tweeted a 17-year old high school student was discovered. Though there is no evidence that the exchange between the two was inappropriate, it was enough to force Weiner to ask for a Congressional leave of absence.
Today, however, Weiner determined that his resignation was ultimately the best approach to this scandal, and for many of Weiners Democratic colleagues, the resignation was a necessity. If Weiner continued to pursue the rest of his term in Congress, the House Ethics Committee would have launched a full investigation of the incidents.
Meanwhile, Weiner is reportedly receiving treatment for his sexual indiscretions at an undisclosed facility.
House Speaker Pelosi refused to speak on todays conference, indicating her statement would follow the conference, Rep. Nita Lowey, (D-N.Y.) said, There is life after Congress for Anthony Weiner and I hope he devotes himself to repairing the damage he caused to his personal life.
Weiners Republican colleague Peter King indicated that the resignation is an unfortunate end to Weiners career, but an essential one.
Photo: U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress, in Brooklyn, New York, Thursday, June 16, 2011: AP Images