His often-theatrical House floor speeches made him a favorite of Democratic activists, and over the past several years he has built a strong personal following.
What is next for Weiner is unclear. At this point, it appears that his political career will be on hold for years. Weiner had planned on running for mayor in New York City, but that hope is all but certainly dashed at this point.
Although Weiner has been an effective messenger for liberals in his party, the scandal has significantly damaged his reputation nationwide. In a recent poll, Weiner had an abysmal 8-percent approval rating among registered voters. That could limit his appeal as a surrogate for Democrats and the White House on cable news talk shows.
Weiner could attempt to resurrect himself as a lobbyist in Washington like many other former Members. But even that could prove difficult for him. Weiner has not spent much effort on legislative activities, opting instead to hone his messaging skills. Additionally, Weiner does not count many of his colleagues as friends and has little in the way of personal relationships with Democrats or Republicans.
Immediately after Weiner’s resignation takes effect, the Clerk of the House will take over his Washington, D.C., and district offices, House Administration Committee spokeswoman Salley Wood said.
“The clerk handles all of the responsibilities,” she said, until a successor is chosen in a special election.
Although the district will not have a voting Representative, staffers will continue to handle constituent casework on the Clerk’s payroll. It’s not uncommon, however, for employees to leave in favor of other opportunities.
Jessica Brady and Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.