Abedin gave birth to their son, Jordan, later that year, and the family moved into a Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan owned by a Clinton supporter. With Weiner unemployed, Abedin took a second job as a consultant for Teneo Holdings, a phenomenally well-connected global consulting company. Clinton signed off on Abedin’s dual role, but a State Department investigator last year subpoenaed records about the arrangement.

A year after Weiner’s resignation, and after what Abedin called “lots of therapy,” she took a very public role in her husband’s comeback bid: running to be New York’s mayor. At his campaign announcement in July 2013, she read a statement of support. New York Post writer Adam Weiss scoffed: “Huma comes from the Clinton school of forgiveness—power is more important than dignity.”

The campaign disintegrated into farce when a 24-year-old Indiana woman who called herself a “wannabe political satirist” named Sydney Leathers told reporters she and Weiner had phone sex five times a day, well after he had confessed to the underwear pics, resigned from Congress and begged forgiveness from Abedin. Directed and shot by one of his former political aides, the documentary Weiner is a cringe-worthy inside look at the brutality of politics and the humiliations to which the most ambitious players will submit to stay in the game. Abedin comes off as supremely smooth, even a bit cynical. As the sexting scandal’s second chapter exploded, she kept an eye on what she called “the optics.” (“You will look happy,” she advises one Weiner aide as the woman breaks down in tears. “I’m saying this for you.”)

Like her boss, Abedin has mastered the steely glare, and the film shows her frequently deploying it on her manic spouse. One of the movie’s final images is of Abedin in a car, heading to Weiner’s concession speech. There, his aides are frantically plotting how to avoid Leathers (whom they mysteriously code-named “Pineapple”), who had shown up at the venue to confront him. “I’m not going to face the indignity of being accosted by the woman,” Abedin says. As the car pulls up, Weiner, who had insisted she come with him, says, “Huma, go home” as he steps out into the tabloid flashbulbs, alone. He stayed in the race and got 2 percent of the vote.

The humiliation of those years is a fading memory now; if anything, it’s a badge of merit at the Clinton campaign offices in Brooklyn, where, as campaign vice chair, Abedin reportedly vetted the entire Clinton for President campaign staff. She still answers her boss’s phone more often than the boss does and runs interference while they are on the road—foraging for fast food in the hinterlands, standing beside Clinton at a Chipotle or Dunkin’ Donuts.

But after a career of being seen but not heard, she has been promoted to a post that makes her a public figure. She’s already living the downside: the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) last month put her on a hit list of Muslim apostates, and in mid-April the Department of Justice reached an agreement to allow her to be deposed in a Clinton emails case brought by a right-wing legal group. She is a campaign issue for Republican contenders. Ted Cruz just released an ad depicting Abedin calling the shots while Clinton stands by, and Donald Trump has said Abedin should not have access to classified information, alleging that she shares it with her “perv” husband. Abedin stepped into the limelight for a split second last year, after Trump announced he would temporarily ban Muslims entry into the U.S. She fired off an email to millions of Clinton supporters in December. “I’m a proud Muslim,” she wrote, “but you don’t have to share my faith to share my disgust.”

But Abedin has submitted to few interviews and has never uttered a substantive word about her job. As campaign co-chair, she speaks only at closed or carefully vetted events. From the wounded master who taught her everything she knows, she has learned that to be candid is to be crucified.

As the release of Weiner looms next month, sure to catapult her into another round of public scrutiny, she’s attending to optics. She declined multiple requests from Newsweek for an interview but did submit to a tongue bath on the obscure podcast Call Your Girlfriend. The two self-described fangirls who conducted that interview did not mention scandals and subpoenas but did elicit a starry-eyed recollection of how Abedin felt when she first met Clinton (she was “so beautiful and so tiny”). The interviewers didn’t laugh when the meticulously organized political attaché and Hillaryland survivor disingenuously suggested she has never looked at any of the more than 10,000 emails of hers now helpfully indexed online by WikiLeaks.

“It’s something I can’t really think about,” she said airily, resorting to a tactic straight from her boss’s stonewall playbook. “But I can’t imagine what’s in those emails. I would probably be mortified.”