NEW YORK – A new documentary about the 2013 mayoral run of disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner could be the latest thorn in the side of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Previewed exclusively by the New York Times this week, “Weiner” was deemed by the paper a “visceral film” that is a “potentially distracting” issue in Clinton’s campaign, as Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's closest advisors, appears throughout.
The Times says “Weiner” shows how “Ms. Abedin — with facial expressions ranging from hurt to hostile — copes with the second sex scandal to engulf her husband’s career and crush her hopes of becoming a powerful political wife.”
After it premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, “Weiner” will be released in theaters on May 20, and is slated to have a TV premiere on Showtime in October, just weeks ahead of the general election.
Tony Sayegh, a Republican strategist and Fox News Contributor, said the “Weiner” repercussions could be very real for Clinton, and cost her the support of some female voters.
“Among the more damaging is that it reveals another example of how hollow the ‘war on women’ argument is when coming from the Hillary camp, disabling that most favorite of perennial liberal ad hominem attacks is the equivalent of taking Superman's ability to leap tall buildings away,” Sayegh told FOX411. “For both Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton, their sexual misconduct went well beyond the realm of a ‘boys will be boys’ defense. And it was Hillary and Huma to the rescue all in the name personal advancement. That is not a story Hillary wants out there, especially through a more popular medium that has the ability to reach a broader audience.”
But Brad Blakeman, a member of former President George W. Bush’s Senior Staff and a Professor of Public Policy, Politics and International Affairs at Georgetown University, says the documentary “is the least of Hillary’s concerns.”
“If you like Hillary, the film will reinforce the ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ and if you don’t like Hillary the film will just validate what you already thought,” he said.
Dan Gerstein, an independent political strategist and owner of Gotham Ghostwriters, a ghostwriting agency that specializes in speeches, agreed with Blakeman that while the documentary could be a distraction to Clinton’s presidential bid, she has bigger fish to fry.
“It affects her aide,” he said, referring to Abedin. “It’s an indirect negative, and therefore the press finds it more interesting than the public does. I’m not trying to say it’s a positive by any means. Clinton has much bigger issues affecting her campaign than a side show like this.”
One person who couldn’t care less about the movie? Weiner’s sexting partner, Sydney Leathers.
“I’m not concerned about any of it coming back up because I find it hilarious. It’s not a big deal to me,” Leathers told FOX411. “It’s certainly not a good look for Hillary. There are comparisons to be made between Weiner’s behavior and Bill’s behavior. I find it fascinating the way Huma and Hillary have handled infidelity in their marriages. It seems they apply a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy’ when it comes to [their husbands].”
Leathers, who found herself entangled in yet another sexting scandal with Indiana State Rep Justin Moed in 2015, had a few more words for Weiner.
“He should just be happy anyone cares about him after he resigned from Congress and had a failed mayoral bid,” she added. “What other unemployed, sex obsessed, creepy middle-aged men have documentaries coming out about them?”
FOX411 reached out to Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, but did not receive comment.