Gov. Sanford’s Indiscretions
June 25, 2009
What is it with these politicians? Why are we constantly hearing about a senator or representative, or for that matter, a president being “unfaithful” to his spouse?
Well, first of all, sex sells. It isn’t only the National Enquirer that knows salacious stories sell. People love stories that reek of scandal! And what is more scandalous than a prominent politician being caught with his . . . er . . . ahem . . . pants down?
You must surely have guessed the latest episode concerning the prim and proper conservative South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is what prompted this column today. But, if we focus exclusively on the South Carolina chief executive we will be missing the larger story . . . a story I would hope we have become mature enough to examine.
Shall we first of all have an unofficial roll call of some of the notable pols who have been exposed? Immediately, former President Bill Clinton comes to mind. In spite of the fact he had a raging libido, the United States did not convict him after he was impeached by the House of Representatives.
As a matter of fact, many people had a secret admiration for the president’s predilections. Maybe it’s because most men have prurient thoughts themselves, and maybe some women did find the 42nd president charming and even “cute.”
What about John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator who, while running for president, was carrying on an affair with nice dish who they say has had Edward’s child?
What about former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer? Now that was a juicy story telling the tawdry facts of the man who was initially identified only as CLIENT NUMBER NINE. That was the end of the imperious, haughty New York governor.
And what about former Congressman Vito Fossella of the 13th Congressional District in New York? He could have gone on being re-elected as long as he wanted, but when his secret girl friend had a baby and he got drunk and was arrested for driving under the influence, that was the political end of Vito.
I could go on and on citing case histories of politicians who were not thinking clearly and could not resist the siren call of lust. Yes, lust! They try to paint the picture of themselves as being prisoners of love. Nonsense!
I interviewed the Washington Post writer, Barbara Howard, many years ago after she wrote a telling piece on why women were so attracted to politicians. She said, “Politicians have power and women are attracted to men who have power.”
It has also been said that the same drive that lures men into politics is the same drive that fuels their libido. Whatever the case, whether it’s Bill Clinton or Mark Sanford or whomever, most men have a libido that doesn’t quit, and far too many throw away their careers because of it.
Even former President Jimmy Carter said he “lusted in his heart.” Apparently that was the only organ in his body that felt the pangs of lust.
Let’s remember the lesson of former chancellor of West Germany, Willy Brandt, who at the age of 72 announced he was resigning his office because he had fallen in love with a woman in her twenties. Of course, in addition to his indiscretions in love, one of his personal assistants also just turned out to be an East German spy. Brandt also said he was never so happy in his life.
C’est la vie; c’est l’amour! As they say, “pardon my French!”