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Notorious Sex Scandals in US Politics
Scandals of the Rich and Powerful
No one group can claim to have cornered the market on sex scandals, but US politicians are certainly giving it the ol' college try. Throughout history there has been no shortage of scandals. Think back to Thomas Jefferson's famous affair with his slave, Sally Hemings, with whom he had six children. But in this age of social media and 24 hour news outlets, information about scandal is readily available and the public can't get enough.
While there are too many scandals to count, the following are a few of the more titillating stories.
Bill Clinton (potus)
Monica Lewinsky. Need I say more? Okay…
After a series of previous accusations by various women about the President’s sexual misconduct, it was a young white house intern that nearly derailed the presidency. Monica Lewinsky had a brief affair with the President that included oral sex, behaviors involving cigars (don’t ask) and evidence of the affair left behind on the intern’s infamous blue dress (who saves clothing stained with...eww?) Despite being impeached by Congress, the POTUS was eventually acquitted by the Senate and went on to complete his term. Due to his Teflon-like charisma, he remains influential in politics to this day.
MARK SANFORD (South Carolina, Governor)
In 2009 the Governor virtually disappeared for a week, reportedly to hike the Appalachian Trail. What he was really up to was far more scandalous. Governor Sanford had reportedly been having an affair with an Argentinian woman for over a year and was in Argentina with her at that time. His marriage soon disintegrated and Sanford became engaged to the Argentinian woman, Maria Belen Chapur, with whom he claimed to have fallen hopelessly in love.
ANTHONY WEINER (New York, U.S Hous of Representatives)
In 2011 it came to light that Rep. Weiner had been using his Twitter account and texts to send inappropriate messages to numerous females. These messages included photos of the politician in compromising positions and states of undress. He had a real obsession with sending photos of his now-famous bulge to the ladies. At the time, he was using the alias, Carlos Danger. Frankly, I think the name Weiner is much more apropos. The only thing really "danger"ous about this guy's behavior was the damage it eventually caused to his political aspirations.
ELIOT SPITZER (New York, Governor)
It seems the Governor of NY had a penchant for prostitutes that cost him tens of thousands of dollars and his shot at reelection. Making the behavior even more scandalous, there were accusations that much of the money spent on these working girls came from the Governor’s campaign funds, though he was never prosecuted for these alleged crimes. The following photo kind of says it all, doesn't it? Oops.
GARY CONDIT, (U.S. House of Representatives)
Rep. Condit was another politician with a taste for young interns. He was in office during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and was quite vocal about his belief that the POTUS should come clean about his affair with Lewinsky. Ironically, Condit was having his own indiscretion with an intern named Chandra Levy, at the same time. Unfortunately Condit’s intern disappeared and turned up dead soon afterward. Not just dead, but murdered. Condit denied any involvement in her death and was later proven innocent of any wrong doing in connection with the death, but the affair, the denials, and the bold-faced hypocrisy that he engaged in derailed his political career and forever tarnished his reputation. Looks like the following photo was snapped during Condit's 'walk of shame.'
JOHN EDWARDS (North Carolina, Senator; U.S. Presidential Hopeful)
The clean cut senator from NC was a leading candidate in the race to the white house in 2008. But his political ambitions were cut short after accusations of campaign finance violations and an extramarital affair were brought to light. Edwards was yet another politician who used campaign funds to cover up evidence of an affair. Though Edwards was never convicted of any wrongdoing, his affair with Rielle Hunter ensured that he would never likely regain the public trust. Not only was he married while carrying on with Ms. Hunter, but his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was suffering from terminal cancer. She passed away in 2010. Ms. Hunter became pregnant as a result of her affair with the Senator and gave birth to their daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, in 2008. This means that not only did poor Mrs. Edwards know about her husband’s affair before she died, but also about the son that he had out of wedlock. Frankly, if I were either one of these women, I'd have thought twice before fathering children with a man sporting that haircut!
LARRY CRAIG, (Idaho, U.S. House of Representatives)
It’s always funny in an ironically tragic way, when an outspoken homophobe gets caught with his pants down in a public men’s room, while trolling for sex with a member of the same gender. Hmm. Such was the case of former Congressman Larry Craig, who got famously got caught in a Minnesota restroom attempting to engage in illicit activity with another man by tapping his foot against the men’s room stall. Imagine if all he wanted was a fresh roll of toilet paper! That would have been an unfortunate misunderstanding. But be warned if you’re ever in the twin city’s airport, that tapping your foot against a neighboring stall will bring you more than just a fresh roll. It may bring charges of lewd conduct and derail the rest of your life.
JOE MORRISSEY, (Virginia, U.S. House of Delegates)
Delegate Morrissey was sentenced to 6 months in jail on charges that he contributed to the delinquency of a minor for having relations with his 17 year old former secretary. Their relationship produced a son, Chase. Morrissey said he plans to marry the child’s mother, Myrna Pride, who is now 19.
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