Top 10 Infamous Political Sex Scandals in the USA
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
When we elect politicians to public office, we expect them to act morally, responsibly and in the best interest of the public. Unfortunately, in more than one case, politicians on both sides of the divide have let us down. Whether it was the South Carolina Governor who disappeared for a week with his mistress, a representative in California who was implicated in the disappearance of an intern with whom he was having an affair, or even the President of the United States having sexual relations with his intern, sex scandals seem to be a part of politics. In this, video, http://www.WatchMojo.com counts down ten of the most infamous United States political sex scandals in recent memory.
Politicians make mistakes too. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down ten of the most infamous political sex scandals.
#10 – Arnold Schwarzenegger [California Governor (R)]: Conan the Adulterer (2011)
Kicking off our list are the misdeeds of the Governator. Schwarzenegger was accused of sexual harassment earlier in his career. But it wasn’t until his governorship was over that his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, filed for divorce because he had fathered a love child with their housekeeper. As if that weren’t enough, Brigitte Nielsen later admitted to an affair with Arnie during his relationship with Shriver.
#9 – Mark Sanford [South Carolina Governor (R)]: Mystery and Mistress (2009)
Sanford disappeared into thin air for almost a week and expected…what? His wife and security team couldn’t find him, and his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. When he returned, he admitted to his affair with an Argentine journalist, and while he didn’t step down, he was censured by the state legislature. Once his divorce was finalized, he and his mistress got engaged.
#8 – Larry Craig [Senator (R-ID)]: Caught in a Men’s Room (2007)
He was known for anti-gay stances and for berating Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky affair. But when Craig was arrested for alleged lewd conduct with another man in an airport bathroom, similar accusations against him materialized. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but maintained it was his “wide stance” that caused the misunderstanding. After threatening to resign, he stayed on until his term was over; however his reputation was irreparably damaged.
#7 – The Kennedy Brothers (D): The Kings of Camelot (←1960s→)
The Kennedy men are poster boys for infidelity. Rumors about John’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe, Bobby’s ties to Jackie after JFK’s assassination, and Teddy’s unfortunate Chappaquiddick incident are just the tip of the iceberg. Does that mean they were bad politicians? No. But how they had time to lead the country with all the tail they were allegedly chasing, we’ll never know.
#6 – Gary Condit [Representative (D-CA)]: The Chandra Levy Disappearance (2001)
Condit was another vocal critic of Bill Clinton during his sex scandal, but he probably wished he’d just stayed quiet when his own went public. When intern Chandra Levy went missing, news of her relationship with Condit made international headlines. It was widely speculated he was involved in her disappearance, but Condit was exonerated and her murderer was later convicted. Condit did not win reelection, but he did move to Arizona to run an ice cream shop.
#5 – Gary Hart [Senator (D-CO)]: The Donna Rice Affair (1987)
How many presidential hopefuls have been taken down by what’s in their pants? Gary Hart was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination when gossip of an affair surfaced. He dared the media to follow him and prove it, which they did on both accounts. Apparently, over half of those surveyed at the time said a president’s ability should not be judged by extramarital affairs, but the damage was done and Hart dropped out.
#4 – Eliot Spitzer [New York Governor (D)]: Client-9 (2008)
It wasn’t this scandal that made Spitzer unpopular, but it did make him a household name. Not only was he found to be a client of an escort agency called Emperors Club VIP, he was also suspected of spending $80 thousand for their services. He resigned, was not charged with any crime, the call-girl got her fifteen minutes, and Spitzer made a pseudo-comeback as a media analyst. All’s well that ends well?
#3 – Anthony Weiner [Congressman (D-NY)]: Weinergate (2011)
When you think of sexting mistakes, he’s the first guy that comes to mind. Not even a year into his marriage, this unfortunately-named New York congressman accidentally tweeted inappropriate pictures of himself. There were denials and accusations of hacking, but ultimately he admitted his mistake and resigned, but not before it was revealed this was not his first digital transgression.
#2 – John Edwards [Senator (D-NC)]: Love Child (2008)
Mainstream media took a while to catch on after the National Enquirer broke the story that Edwards had fathered a child outside his marriage. Did we mention that Edwards’ wife was dying of cancer? Long story short: he eventually admitted to being the father and did not win the Democratic presidential nomination, but was found not guilty of illegally using campaign funds to hide his affair – so that’s something.
#1 – Bill Clinton [President (D)]: The Lewinsky Scandal (1998)
Taking the top spot on our list is the most well-known and well publicized political sex scandal in recent memory. This one had it all: denials, cigars, stained dresses, and the impeachment of the president. While Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky was memorable, it did little to affect his legacy with most people, and today he is widely considered one of the most popular Presidents.