Rep. Anthony Weiner just quit his job, but with a baby on the way and the loss of a six-figure income, what's a fallen congressman to do?
With only a bachelor's degree in political science, Weiner doesn't have the safety net of a law or professional degree many politicians have, and his public image is all but ruined, ruling out an immediate media gig.
So for the time being, his best move is clam up and get his house in order, experts said.
"He really needs to focus on getting professional treatment, and he needs to focus on his family and his wife," said Dominique Isbecque, executive director of the Image Resource Center of New York. "He needs to stay out of the limelight and look at what the public needs to see about him that would make them trust him."
She added that eventually he needs to own his mistakes and wear them on his sleeve.
"If he's really serious about recovering, he needs to participate in a treatment program and be very public about it, because he was an elected official," she said.
Matt Wolfrom of public relations firm Makovsky & Co., agreed, saying the first step to atonement is rebuilding his personal life and "receding from the public eye," but that Weiner probably won't have an Eliot Spitzer-style future in the media.
"Spitzer took it and he knew he had to take it, because that was his persona," Wolfrom said. "He knew he did something wrong and he took accountability. Weiner did the opposite."
He added that eventually, it's possible Weiner could bounce back into the political realm.
"We've seen people who have broken trust of the country become statesmen again," he said. "You can never rule out anything."
Political analyst Keli Goff said whatever he does, he'll need a good job "since he has a kid on the way."
"I think he'll make one hell of a political consultant," she said. "He seems very tactfully smart and can be a good person to go to in difficult situations."
A few other pols who’ve been in a similar position as Anthony Weiner:
Bill Clinton: The ex-president weathered one of the most visible political sex-scandals in history after being impeached for his involvement with intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998.
He emerged as one of the most popular post-presidents by standing behind many philanthropic causes and helping with national disasters.
Eliot Spitzer: New York's disgraced ex-governor quit in 2008 after admitting to spending thousands on high-priced hookers. He worked in daddy’s real estate business for awhile and is now a cable TV talking head.
Rudy Giuliani: The ex-mayor had three wives, two of whom he reportedly cheated on, and is estranged from his two kids. But he's maintained a positive public persona, and for a time was thought of as the front-runner for the GOP nod in the 2008 presidential race.
Vito Fossella: It was revealed that the former Staten Island Rep. had a daughter with his mistress after he was stopped while driving drunk in 2008. He’s gotten a tepid reaction when he’s tested the waters for a comeback.