NEW YORK, United States — Some of Hillary Clinton’s highest profile supporters are rallying around her longtime aide and confidante Huma Abedin, even as Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner and the FBI’s scrutiny of thousands of e-mails found on his computer have shaken Clinton’s presidential campaign in its closing days.
Despite the distraction, Abedin, 40, is going through with an exclusive fundraiser set for Thursday night in Washington, which she is set to headline with fashion titans Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg at the home of Jefferson Hotel owner Connie Milstein.
“Huma is beautiful, brilliant, and chic in the eyes of everyone who has worked with her,” Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, said Wednesday in a statement provided by the campaign. “Secretary Clinton has benefited from her support and wisdom for twenty years.”
The Michigan-born, Saudi-raised Abedin has achieved something of cult following among some Clinton backers, especially some of her most prominent women donors. It stems from a combination of her sense of style and her grace and in part because of her role as a gatekeeper who enjoys almost a daughter-mother proximity to the Democratic nominee.
That closeness also presents a liability risk. Over the course of Clinton’s presidential campaign, hacked e-mails released by WikiLeaks, congressional inquiries into Clinton’s time at the State Department and ties to her family’s foundation work have put Abedin under scrutiny.
Still, Clinton supporters have been known to seek selfies with Abedin, and her presence at social events serves in some sense as a proxy for Clinton. Abedin and Wintour paired up last month in Paris for a Clinton event timed around Paris Fashion Week. It made headlines when pictures were posted on social media showing one of the guests was Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush.
Her stoicism and abiding devotion to Clinton — even as she fought to hold together her marriage after her husband’s sexting scandal cost him his career in Congress — won her many fans.
Wintour called her “one of the most resilient people I know.”
Clinton and other friends stood by her earlier this year as she finally separated from Weiner amid an investigation into allegations he exchanged explicit online messages with a 15-year-old girl. It was that investigation that unearthed new e-mails that may be related to Clinton’s time at state, dealing a new blow to the campaign.
Abedin has been off the campaign trail since Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey’s disclosure last week that the bureau was reviewing those e-mails, found on Weiner’s computer.
By Jennifer Epstein, Margaret Talev and Joshua Green; editors: Craig Gordon and Joe Sobczyk.