Let me finish tonight with a suggestion to Congressman Weiner: He needs one, and I offer this with a completely open mind about what he should do with it. A couple of facts right up front: The leadership of the Democratic party didn't elect him. While he owes his committee assignments to the party organization, he owes his seat to the people of his congressional district: the voters. Second, the media didn't nominate or elect this Congressman. We can cover him, put all kinds of information and commentary on about him. We can judge his fitness, say what we think he ought to do. But again he doesn't owe his seat to us. We didn't pick him. The voters did. Third, I don't believe he stands accused of a crime. The courts can't decide, therefore, whether he deserves to serve in Congress or time somewhere else. Again, it's the voters who put him in Congress. So let's leave it that way and here's my suggestion: The congressman should drop this "leave of absence" talk and resign. He should then sign up as a candidate in the special election Governor Cuomo will call to fill the seat. In this way, he will show a responsible approach to what he's done. He will show he takes it seriously as a problem and not simply a public relations problem. He will admit that he's given the people who elected him cause to reconsider. He's given them a "chance" to reconsider -- and that shows respect. It may be too late for this approach but I'm not sure. People like to be asked. They liked to be given the right to make decisions on how they are governed. Who's to say that the conduct Congressman Weiner has engaged in offsets all his years of serious advocacy? I know who: the people who elected him. If the congressman wants to continue his career, that decision should be returned to them. The voters need to weigh what they've now heard he's done to his and their embarrassment against what they know he's done for them. It would be an interesting test. It would give several hundred thousand people in Brooklyn and Queens an excellent way to utilize their democratic franchise - and it would give Weiner a chance to get out there and defend himself as best he can and his opponents a chance to say why he shouldn't. This would be a race worth covering -- and it would put the Democratic leaders in Congress, the Republicans and the media in the bleacher seats -- with Weiner, his rivals and the voters down on the field.