How Do Politicians Survive Sex Scandals?

Published on RoomForDebate, by editors, June 24, 2009.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Mark Sanford, the Republican governor of South Carolina, gave a rambling apology for having an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina, for disappearing for a week, and for deceiving the public on his whereabouts.

Nationally televised admissions of infidelity and other bad behavior by politicians seem almost commonplace now, though each story seems to have its own plot twists. Last week, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, who was active for a time in Promise Keepers, a Christian ministry that promotes strong marriages, apologized for having an affair with a member of his campaign staff. In contrast to Mr. Ensign’s tightly scripted statement, Mr. Sanford’s remarks were lengthy and emotional … (full text and comments).

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