As a follow-up to last week’s blog about the effect of social media on all things politics and the spotlight on Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) Twitter scandal, Thursday marked his formal resignation. Weiner had been under increasing pressure to resign from many democratic leaders such as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and many others. On June 6th, a photo of Weiner wearing tight underwear was accidentally sent over Twitter to a student in Washington. After denying the claim for a week, alleging that someone had hacked into his account, Weiner finally admitted to sending pictures to the individual as well as having online relations with many others.
I and many others had compared Weiner’s Twitter mishap to Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinski, although it is clear that politics, and more importantly the influence of social media, has changed the landscape of politics forever. Clinton, as everyone knows, did not resign, and in fact carried out the rest of his presidency, with the support of his wife, United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, at his side. It is still too early to tell whether Weiner and his wife, herself an aide of Hilary Clinton, will remain together and work through his internet infidelity.
The main question that arises in my mind is would have things been different for former president Clinton if social media were as prevalent in the late 90’s as it is today? It sure would have given his supporters a larger platform to express their support for him through, but it would undoubtedly allowed those who were in opposition to him to spread their message of disappointment and disapproval even farther. Who knows if he would have remained the president of the Unites States or if history would have changed courses. That is not for me to assume, although things for sure would have been different.