Thursday, June 25, 2009
Infidelity in the Public Eye
There's a laundry list of dirty politicians that have been caught with their pants down. Yes. The pun was intended. My topic in blogs today: high-profile public officials busted for cheating on their wives. The most notable and infamous affair that sparked a wave of coverage on infidelity in the public eye was former President Bill Clinton. Who could forget that scandal? Sure the rumor mill has always included past Presidents, and while their alleged cheating was quietly swept under a rug, Mr. Clinton's salacious affair ignited a flurry of interest into public officials' personal lives.
The latest to publicly admit and tearfully apologize to an affair is South Carolina's Governor Mark Sanford. The details surrounding his disappearance were downright bizarre and cause for speculation that Mr. Sandford wasn't telling "us" something. That something was a mistress.
The dirty laundry list of politicians includes (but is not limited to) past Presidential hopeful John Edwards. Who could forget his ailing wife by his side as he confessed his sins on national television? Then there was New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who couldn't keep it in his pants. He was nabbed for his involvement in a high-priced prostitution ring. In case you forgot, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani, current NY Gov. David Paterson, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have also been in the spotlight for their affairs.
Unfaithful politicians publicly pay the price for their infidelity: humiliation, a damaged reputation, and in some cases the end of a political career. These men are not the first, and they certainly won't be the last to be dubbed "cheaters", all of their political achievements tainted and sometimes forgotten. Some say a politician who betrays his wife betrays the public's trust: do you agree? Is a dishonest husband also a dishonest politician, businessman, lawyer, or doctor?
I'm not going to analyze why politicians cheat. Over inflated egos? I don't think the answer is that simple. And since I'm not a psychologist, I won't attempt to dissect their behavior. All I want to know is: is it any of our business? Does the public have a right to know? And since I'm a journalist, I can only ask the questions...not answer them.