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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 26th, 2013
06:21 PM ET

'Spitzer and Weiner and Filner – Oh my!'

If Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner win their primaries this fall, the races should be slam-dunks for their Republican opponents, right?

Maybe not.

“You can throw in Spitzer and Weiner and Filner – oh my!” Republican strategist and National Review columnist Jim Geraghty said Friday on CNN’s “The Lead.”

Spitzer, Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner – all Democrats – are each seeking to overcome their own sex-related scandals. Spitzer pledges his is in the past; Weiner says the same, but has weathered a string of new revelations this week; and four new disclosures brought the number of women alleging sexual misbehaviour against Filner to seven.

In New York, it’s only the primary. But one reason not to write off the New York mayoral and comptroller races as a Democratic loss, Geraghty said, is because in recent years “you haven’t seen a cultivated Republican party in the city.

“There hasn’t been much of a bench there. Don’t count them out in the general election, but the problems of Democrats doesn’t automatically mean Republicans benefit,” he explained.

Weiner’s wife has accompanied him on the campaign trail and said unequivocally at a Tuesday news conference that she stands behind her husband.

Spitzer’s wife has been absent from the trail, and has backpedaled his assurances that she would join him on the stump. A tabloid even claimed unnamed sources told them a divorce between Silda and Eliot Spitzer was in the works.

It could be a winning strategy for Spitzer, said CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby.

“She’s not constantly in the glare, she’s not getting shouted questions at her all the time,” he said. “Huma being out there with Anthony Weiner has really shone a spotlight and has been a constant reminder of the fraught, curious relationship that they have.”

The downside for Spitzer, he said, would be if his wife does what Jenny Sanford did to her ex-husband Mark Sanford, who won a spring special election to the U.S. House and admitted in 2009 an affair with a woman who is now his fiancé.

“And unless Silda goes out into the media and starts attacking Eliot Spitzer, à la Jenny Sanford, I think it’s actually OK,” he said.

And in the long run, democratic strategist Jamal Simmons predicted these revelations wouldn’t hurt the Democratic Party.

“Democrats, I think, can distance themselves pretty well from this because - first of all - it’s a new York city mayor’s race, it’s a San Diego mayor,” he said. “It’s not like it’s actually a congressional campaign that’s happening right now.”

In the meantime, he added, “trying to read about politics at work now is like trying to watch a Robin Thicke video. Some of it’s a little not safe for work.”

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