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8 lessons Huma Abedin should learn from ‘The Good Wife’

By Kay Steiger
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:43 EDT
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Alicia (Julianna Margulies) goes to trial unprepared when she learns that an impending Supreme Court ruling could result in Colin Sweeney being jailed for life. (Promo photo on CBS)
 
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It’s hard not to see the comparison between confessed compulsive sexter Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin and Alicia Florick, the lead character on the CBS drama “The Good Wife.” Both are women thrown into the spotlight after their husband’s sexual escapades with talents and careers in their own right. After watching Abedin at Weiner’s press conference on Tuesday, it’s time for her to turn to this series for some life lessons.

1. When you stand next to him at his press conference where he admits it, everyone is way more interested whether you’re there than what you have to say (unless it’s “I’m leaving him”). In the great opening sequence to “The Good Wife” pilot, Alicia Florrick (played by Juliana Margulies) doesn’t say a word through the press conference. The scene is brilliantly shot from her point of view, but it’s also pretty apparent that everyone in the room doesn’t care much about how she thinks or feels. Abedin didn’t attend Weiner’s original press conference where he admitted to his lewd Twitter exchanges in 2011 — and much was made of her absence. Yesterday, she stood right next to him.

2. No matter how it seems, he needs you way more that you need him. Repeatedly throughout the series, Eli Gold (played by Alan Cumming) pops into Alicia’s office to beg for her help on her husband’s rehabilitation efforts. She saves him on his path back to the public eye more than once. Abedin also lends her image to her husband’s rebranding, penning an op-ed for Harper’s Bazaar on his behalf and hosting a “Women for Weiner” fundraiser for his bid for New York City mayor.

3. No matter how outrageous the scandal, he won’t abandon his ambitions for future political office. Weiner refused to quit his bid for New York City mayor on Tuesday, and Peter Florrick, though he resigned from the state’s attorney position in season one of “The Good Wife,” he was back and running for governor by season three. They won’t let a little thing like a sex scandal stand in their way.

4. Even if your marriage is in the toilet, you can still have an amazingly successful and fulfilling career. Alicia returns to her abandoned career of a litigation attorney in “The Good Wife,” getting promoted to partner in record time. Though she’s been maligned by right-wingers who claim she has ties to terrorist groups, Abedin is a veteran of the State Department under Hillary Clinton and remains an adviser for the politician favored by many Democrats for a 2016 presidential bid.

5. Whatever he told you the worst thing was, there’s probably more crap coming your way. When Weiner resigned in 2011, he claimed he stopped the racy online exchanges, but then he admitted Tuesday that he’d continued illicit correspondence even after he resigned from Congress. Likewise, on “The Good Wife,” Alicia finds out that it wasn’t just prostitutes her husband cheated on her with, but he also slept with a mutual colleague

6. Yes, people will use you because of who your husband is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them right back. Alicia repeatedly finds people who are angling her for her connection to her husband. In season one, her husband even uses her to take on a case — a stripper who alleged rape against a high-profile Chicago figure at his bachelor party — that stalled out after he left the state’s attorney’s office. She felt used, but she ultimately got charges re-filed against the alleged rapist. She lost the case, but she won the good fight.

7. It’s sometimes completely necessary and appropriate to drop some well-placed #realtalk bombshells into the bullshit that’s flying at you. In an amazing moment in episode three, Alicia tells a former neighbor and friend who half-heartedly offers to get together for lunch after Alicia clears her son of a felony murder charge, “You’re not going to call, and we’re not going to have lunch. And that’s OK. Take care.” Here’s hoping Abedin can do the same

8. It’s OK if you’re using your husband for sex. Alicia realizes that she has sexual needs, but it’s not socially acceptable for her to have an affair while her husband is running for governor, even if they’re separated. So instead she pops in to his campaign bus for the occasional quickie. (Related: He had his piece on the side, so you can too. Just sayin’.)

[Alicia (Julianna Margulies) goes to trial unprepared when she learns that an impending Supreme Court ruling could result in Colin Sweeney being jailed for life. (Promo photo on CBS)]

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
 
 
 
 
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