In her forthcoming book, Huma Abedin details her courtship with Anthony Weiner.
Abedin rebuffed Weiner initially, but they remained friends and they eventually went on a date.
Weiner used his proximity to a conversation during the 2008 campaign between Obama and Clinton to convince her, according to the book.
Former congressman and convicted sex offender Anthony Weiner had a breakthrough in convincing Huma Abedin to go out with him by listening in on a conversation between then-2008 campaign rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
While the two had run into each other in the halls of Congress during Abedin’s tenure as a Senate aide to Clinton, she initially wondered “how to extricate myself from this situation” when they first met at a 2001 Democratic Party retreat in Martha’s Vineyard. Abedin writes that she was worried about Weiner hitting on her as a sitting congressman because that would only complicate her job and introduce a risk to Clinton’s political career.
“After the aborted attempt at drinks on Martha’s Vineyard, the next social outing the congressman and I shared came a full six years later, at President Bush’s State of the Union address in January 2007,” Abedin writes in “Both/And: A life in Many Worlds,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.
Nevertheless, Abedin describes how she was charmed by Weiner, who dangled juicy gossip as bait.
During former President George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, Obama and Clinton were ramping up their respective presidential campaigns in what would become a heated and drawn out primary. Weiner managed to arrive to the House floor early, snagging a spot right behind Obama and Clinton as they made small talk.
Abedin recounts being hesitant to ask her boss what she discussed with Obama unless Clinton divulged it herself, but she was curious enough to take Weiner up on his offer to talk about it over what was initially a group dinner.
“Weiner, in fact, betrayed very little about their conversation aside from saying that he had ribbed Obama that he had HRC’s back so not to try any false moves,” Abedin writes. “‘Did you actually say that?’ Heather [a fellow Clinton aide] asked. He smiled and winked, and no one could tell if he was joking or serious.”
Because they arrived too late at the restaurant and were asked to leave shortly after arriving, Weiner invited Abedin to a diner instead. Away from the group, the two had their first extended conversation in what would go from a friendship to a romantic relationship and, eventually, a failed marriage.
Weiner quickly impressed by finagling a better table for them at the diner.
“Had he tipped her?” Abedin writes, bewildered at how Weiner managed to get them the spot after a quick conversation with the hostess. “Asked for a table closer to the front? Did she recognize him and decide to give him a better spot?
“This was my inaugural night witnessing an Anthonyism,” Abedin continues. “Things just happened when you were with him. He didn’t spend a lot of time explaining; it was all just taken care of.”
Although Abedin writes that the relationship didn’t become fully romantic until later on in the 2008 presidential campaign, the two were on their way to becoming a couple that would find itself at the center of the 2016 presidential election, with Weiner jeopardizing the Clinton campaign and offering a boost to Donald Trump when his laptop was seized by the FBI.
“The crowded diner had emptied out, leaving just us and a few stragglers at the bar,” Abedin writes. “I let him drive me back to my car. On that drive in Percy-which I learned was the name he had given his Pathfinder-I knew I had enjoyed being with him. Once I had seen past that first glimpse of his brash, cocky persona, I found him smart, really interesting, never boring.”
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