The 10 Dumbest Political Sex Scandals
5. Jerry Springer’s “Checkgate”
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Believe it or not, there was a time when talk show legend Jerry Springer wasn’t interviewing midget prostitutes or housewives who became prostitutes. He was paying for them.
Springer actually had a very bright future as a career politician in the early 1970s as a councilman and mayor of Cincinnati, but all of that came to a halt when word surfaced that he had hired a prostitute and paid for their session with a personal check. He could have been a guest on his own talk show if the laws of time and space had a better sense of humor (“People Who Pay for Sex with Paper Goods, next Springer!”).
4. Eric Massa’s “Snorkelgate”
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When a politician or self-serving head of state gets caught with his tongue tied around a man or a woman that isn’t their spouse, one can only hope that they’ve learned their lesson. However, in Eric Massa’s case, I would have rather not learned anything at all.
The longtime Democratic rep excused himself from the House when several of his young male staffers accused him of physically groping and touching them in a house he shared with them because they couldn’t afford their own place on the salary he provided. When the story broke, even shipmates from Massa’s Navy days accused him of pulling the same stunts including a sexual technique called “snorkeling” that can only be described as “not a fun watersports activity.”
3. John Edwards’ “Babymamagate”
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Edwards had a political career that most wide-smiling, hurricane-proof-hairstyle-sporting, all-American males could only dream about. He may have lost a chance to be vice president in 2008, but he was the odds-on favorite to become Barack Obama’s running mate until the proverbial s*** hit the fan, then broke into little tiny pieces where they were flung into more smaller, appropriately placed fans.
The former Senator and Presidential candidate not only got caught cheating with a filmmaking aide in his campaign, but he also fathered a baby with her while his wife was undergoing serious cancer treatments. When stories about the affair and the baby broke, he resoundingly denied them, only to have to face the truth, which had beaten his public image down to that of a vampire IRS auditor.
2. Mark Foley’s “Sextgate”
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Some politicians leave unintended trails of their wrongdoing that lead right up to the scene of the crime. Mark Foley didn’t just drop a trail of breadcrumbs to his seedy deeds. He also rented neon signs, printed directions off Mapquest, and fired industrial strength flares to his naughty no-nos.
The six-term rep from Florida ousted himself from his seat after text messages and instant online messages surfaced that contained some rather suggestive phrases to underage male pages. His salacious “sexts” included such testicle-shrinking phrases as “did you spank it this weekend yourself” and “well I have aa (sic) totally stiff wood now.” He may not have had to face any criminal charges, but one can only hope he also got hit with some heavy roaming charges.
1. Bill Clinton’s “Anythingthatmovesgate”
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Anyone can understand why men in such powerful and important positions stray from their marriages. It’s a high stress environment with a status that borders on Greek god in some pie-eyed, naive interns’ eyes. It may not be morally justifiable, but at least it gets them to admit that they are titans of the human race, whether they are on the left or right side of the political aisle. They aren’t born leaders chosen by some self-proclaimed divine intervention or crusaders of overrated political philosophies. They are just like the rest of us: lusty, tempted, and (God forbid) human.
Bill Clinton, on the other hand, needed to be tied down to something heavy. If you aren’t sure as to why the 42nd president is on this list, you might want to see if the DSL line in your cave isn’t on the fritz. His string of flirtatious encounters, multiple mistresses, and downright animal behavior in the face of common decency could've prompted an intervention with Wilt Chamberlain and Tiger Woods. He's reportedly had more than any man’s fair share of mistresses and girlfriends outside of his marriage, a problem that became so well know that his wife actually had to intervene and keep women out of his line of sight, such as one instance where Sharon Stone was set to visit the White House.
To make matters worse, he left evidence of his naughty habits in just about every nook and cranny, short of leaving a signed confession with samples of his easily confirmed DNA all over it. Facets of his private life from the infamous blue dress to his strange infatuation with cigars have become staples of popular culture party talk and safety net punchlines for Jay Leno monologues. His philandering ways have left an indelible mark on the nature of politics and sex that couldn’t be removed with the world’s entire supply of Scotchguard (try not to let that metaphor sink in too much).