Who is Huma Abedin?
Is Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton’s Secret Weapon or Her Next Big Problem?
The loyal aide has spent decades at the presidential contender’s side with unparalleled access. But with a powerful Republican senator raising questions about her role in the Clinton-era State Department, Abedin finds herself the latest victim of the Stop Hillary movement.
Faced with an unending scandal about her use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton decided last September to “reset” her presidential campaign. As Amy Chozick wrote in the New York Times, the new Hillary would display her “humor” and her “heart,” the qualities that her friends say rarely come across in public appearances.
The reset reached its zenith on October 3 when Hillary appeared on Saturday Night Live as “Val,” a bartender to whom Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, pours her heart out. The six-minute segment ends with “Hillary” and “Val” bonding as they sing “Stand by Me,” the Ben E. King classic. “Hillary” gets so carried away with her manic crooning that she doesn’t realize “Val” has disappeared and been replaced by cast member Cecily Strong, playing a character known as “Huma.” “I was just hanging out with my best friend Val,” Hillary says. Huma tells Hillary there is no one there. “I think you’ve had one too many, Hillary, let’s go,” Huma says.
Huma, as anyone who follows politics knows, is 40-year-old Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s “shadow,” as Politico once described her. She began working for Hillary in 1996, when she was a 19-year-old intern fresh from George Washington University assigned to the First Lady’s office. Abedin had wanted to be a journalist like her hero Christiane Amanpour and was hoping to work in the White House press office. “Take a chance,” her mother told her. “Don’t fall in love with Plan A.” Huma took the advice. “Sixteen years later, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she told a dinner audience in 2012, at a Fortune conference. “And I got to meet Christiane Amanpour.”