What Will Weiner Do? 5 Career Case Studies

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) - When Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., announced his resignation from Congress on Thursday following a prolonged sexting scandal, he offered little hint of where he would work next, saying only that he will "be looking for ways to contribute my talents" and continue working to help the country's middle-class households.

Truth be told, it's a fair bet the congressman, like many who abruptly quit their job, has no precise plan about what to do next, but Weiner can look to the many politicians who have been disgraced in similar scandals for a hint of what his next career should be.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., resigned from Congress after a sexting scandal and now must figure out a next career step.

Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer may be the only New York politician in recent memory whose sex scandal overshadows what Weiner has gone through. Where Weiner simply sent lewd messages to women while married, Spitzer, New York's former governor, slept with hired escorts while married. The only thing Spitzer did not do, to his credit, was lie about this once it came to light.

In the two years since the scandal broke, Spitzer has gone a long way toward rehabilitating his image by pursuing a course that may be a good option for Weiner. Spitzer laid low at first, working for his father's real estate company, but he gradually took baby steps to give himself a platform to voice his ideas. He became a regular columnist for Slate, then a teacher at the City College of New York and finally took a position as the host of a show, "In The Arena," which airs on CNN, where he still works today.

Robert Packwood
Not all disgraced politicians are quite so eager to return to the limelight. Robert Packwood, a former Republican Senator from Oregon, resigned in 1995 after reports he had made sexual advances on a number of women, including members of his staff, over the years.

Since then, Packwood has mainly worked behind the scenes as a lobbyist. In 1998, he started his own lobbying firm, Sunrise Research.

Mark Foley
Some former politicians have a harder time trying to find their footing after they've been forced to resign. Like Weiner, Mark Foley, a former Republican congressman from Florida, was embroiled in a scandal over lewd messages, but in Foley's case, those messages were sent to an underage male page, making it that much more scandalous.

Foley resigned in late 2006, and a quick look at his LinkedIn profile reveals just how scattered his post-Congressional career has been. The year after his resignation, Foley took a job as a real estate consultant in Palm Beach, where he apparently still works today. In that time, he has also served on the board of directors for a sewage company, hosted a local radio show and opened his own consignment shop called Celebrity Consignment.

Gary Condit
Of all the scandals on this list, Gary Condit's may be the most bizarre. Condit served as a California congressman until 2002, when he was voted out after the discovery he had an affair with a young intern who later went missing and turned up murdered. Condit was found to have nothing to do with the murder, but the scandal was enough to keep him out of Washington for good.

So what does a former politician do in such circumstances? For Condit, the answer was simple: He opened up a couple of Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops. Unfortunately, even that didn't work out completely, as Baskin-Robbins later sued him for failing to make necessary payments on his stores.

Barney Frank
Of course, there are other politicians who have managed to do what Weiner dreamed of: hold onto their job.

In late 1989, Barney Frank was found to have solicited sex from a male prostitute and even to have later hired that prostitute to work in his house, but Frank refused to resign over the ensuing scandal and continues to work in Congress today. Likewise, one could point to well-known politicians such as Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, each of whom were found to have had affairs while in office, but remained prominent figures on the political scene.

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