Why Adultery is Political Suicide
by Steve Chapman on Townhall.com
By now, it’s clear that Mark Sanford has about as much of a future in politics as he does in sumo wrestling. His confession of adultery was all it took to demolish any hopes he had of running for president — and perhaps even to force him to step down as governor of South Carolina. But why?
After all, we’ve had presidents who are revered by posterity despite being unreliable husbands. Hardly anyone even remembers now that Franklin Roosevelt had a mistress, that Dwight Eisenhower may have had one, or that John Kennedy had several.
In the intervening decades, we’ve also become far more aware of just how common such behavior is among officeholders — not only Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani but lesser-known mayors, governors, congressmen and water commissioners. Nowadays, finding that a politician breached his marital vows is about as surprising as learning that a professional athlete failed a drug test. If Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi can overcome their guilt, why not Sanford?