Political sex scandals have been around since Mark Antony and Cleopatra. But in the modern era of cameras, cell phones, the Internet, and the 24 hour news cycle, they are getting harder to hide. Here are our top five career-ending political sex scandals:
5. Elliot Spitzer
Elliot Spitzer had a promising career in politics. He went from New York District Attorney to Governor and took on everybody from Wall Street to the Mob. Spitzer’s downfall would come after it was revealed he was paying for high priced escorts, including one called Ashley Dupre, who would quickly become a media sensation. Spitzer later resigned, insinuating that political enemies set him up. But Spitzer has no one to blame for himself for his transgressions.
4. Gary Hart
Gary Hart was a Democratic Senator from Colorado who was considered the front runner for the Democratic nominee for President in 1988. The Miami Herald revealed that Hart was having an affair with a young attractive woman named Donna Rice with whom he spent time on a yacht called “Monkey Business.” A CIA agent would later admit to revealing the affair in an effort to neutralize Hart for uncovering a relationship between the CIA and organized crime.
3. Herman Cain
Herman Cain was competing for the GOP nomination and doing fairly well in the polls when several women began accusing him of sexual harassment. Cain’s supporters stuck with him through the allegations. But when Ginger White claimed to have a 13-year affair with Cain and had the text messages to prove it, Cain resigned.
2. Anthony Weiner
Anthony Weiner, a Democratic congressman from Brooklyn, would be the first politician to be brought down by social networking when it was revealed by right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart that Weiner had been sending raunchy pictures to females over the Internet. Some would say Weiner was targeted by Breitbart and the right wing media due to his political views and threats he posed to the Republican party. Alas, the congressman’s last name was a boon to headline writers everywhere, and Weiner was forced to resign amid a media circus.
1. John Edwards
Oftentimes it is not the sex that causes the scandal, but the cover-up. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, former Senator from North Carolina John Edwards would carry on an extramarital affair with a campaign worker Rielle Hunter while his wife was dying of cancer. After the National Enquirer revealed the affair between the two, Edwards admitted the affair. Hunter gave birth to a child and Edwards had a staff worker, Andrew Young, claim paternity before admitting he fathered the child. Edwards would eventually be indicted by the Department Of Justice for using campaign funds to cover up his affair.