Is the political sex scandal dead?
If trends continue, sex scandals may no longer mean the end of a politician’s political career.
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” said former US President Bill Clinton.
These are words that mark a time in recent history that eventually led to the impeachment of a President. Clinton later admitted to an affair he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and today, politicians and journalists alike are calling for a special provision for Clinton (despite already having served two terms) to run again.
Poll numbers show Clinton with a 61 percent approval rating, higher than current US President Obama and former US President George W. Bush.
Just last year, after disappearing for six days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted he was unfaithful to his wife.
“I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina,” Sanford said at a press conference. “I hurt her. I hurt you all. I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys.”
And in the fight to see who will replace him, the candidate in the lead remains at the center of a scandal of the same sort
Nikki Haley is rumored to have had an affair with political blogger Will Folks. Folks recently gave a sworn statement that in which he said they did indeed have an inappropriate physical relationship while she was married.
“It’s not up to me to prove that I’m telling the truth. It’s up to them to prove that it is true,” responded Haley.
Voters seem to agree.
Haley is polling at 48 percent. Her opponent Vincent Sheheen has about 37 percent heading into the final days before the election.
Louisiana Senator David Vitter is also riding high in the polls, despite admitting he was once a client of a DC madam’s prostitution ring.
“I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past,” Vitter said.
He has spent much of his career challenging the validity of evolution and touting strong family values. Currently he’s polling at 52.3 percent, compared to his opponent Charles Melancon who has 36.3 percent.
And then there’s Eliot Spitzer, who spent much of his time as governor of New York cracking down on things like prostitution. It turns out he was known as “Client #9” in, you guessed it, a prostitution ring. He resigned as governor but now has his own prime time show on CNN; “Parker-Spitzer”.
Perhaps in America the road to forgiveness is simply becoming shorter. Maybe, people are seeing what many in other countries have seen for years –the political sex scandal may change the conversation, but doesn’t by any means change the game.
Dennis Hof, the owner of the elite brothel Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada said his business caters to a number of politicians.
He explained that the success of politicians following a sex scandal heavily depends on who you are and the connections you have.
“Like Eliot the idiot, he’s getting a TV show, but there’s other people that don’t have any opportunity,” said Hof. “Eliot happened to have a lot of connections in New York, so he gets a TV show when he should be in prison.”
Has US society moved past sex scandals?
“People are always going to be nervous; what if somebody finds out, what will people think? Because, people are still somewhat judgmental, I think,” said Cami Parker, a sex worker at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch whose client list includes a number of politicians.
Hof explained that his operation is respects and protects the privacy of their clients, by making sure their identity is kept secret. From back doors to confidentiality agreements, privacy is of the upmost importance.
“Mark Sanford, the governor, instead of hiking Appalachia, he should have come here instead of going to Argentina”, Hof said.
Tips not to get caught; go to a legal operation. “When you do business with criminals it gives them the opportunity to do criminal things to you,” Hof explained.
There is a total double standard with woman, he added, saying female clients have to be more cautions, because many expect men to seek sex, not women. There is also a double standard of same-sex sex scandals. Looking forward, it is possible that 25 years in the future this might change.
Along party lines, Hof said Democrats are more frequent customers, but the Republicans are far kinkier!