Guy W. Farmer: Power isn’t the only turn-on for some in politics
I’m writing about sex today, so send the children to their rooms. In a political game called “How low can you go?” former Congressman Anthony Weiner (aka “Carlos Danger”), who’s running for mayor of New York City, is asking voters to overlook his obvious addiction to porn, which includes “sexting” photos to young women. Other than that, he’s probably a great guy.
The Appeal is a family newspaper, so I’ll spare you the tasteless Anthony’s weiner jokes and go right to the heart of the matter. The terminally egocentric Weiner is asking New York voters to overlook his electronic transgressions and choose him to replace “Nanny Mayor” Michael Bloomberg, who tells New Yorkers what to eat and how to live their lives. Only in New York.
“This (the Internet porn) is entirely behind me,” Weiner, 48, said just hours after he admitted that he exchanged sexually explicit photos with a 24-year-old woman he met online. Apparently, they pledged their love to each other during phone sex. Much of this sleazy activity took place after he resigned from Congress two years ago.
Weiner issued yet another phony “apology” last month with his long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, by his side. “I love him (and) I have forgiven him,” said the obviously uncomfortable Ms. Abedin, who wasn’t looking at her husband as she proclaimed her love for him. She was standin’ by her man, just like Tammy Wynette in yet another cringe-inducing moment on national TV.
Now here’s the Clinton connection: Abedin is a longtime top aide to former Sen. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is considering a run for the presidency in 2016. We remember that Clinton set an example for Abedin by doing a full Tammy Wynette when it was revealed that her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, was a serial womanizer who had received oral sex in the Oval Office. Other than that, he was a great guy too. And besides, the economy was good, so who cared about the extracurricular sex? Right?
Clinton apologists and sycophants continue to spout that kind of oblivious nonsense to this day. It was only sex, so who cares? Which brings us to the recent bipartisan rash of sexual escapades by elected officials from both major parties. We not only have current scandals involving Democrats Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who seems to have a groping “issue,” but earlier misbehavior by smarmy presidential candidate John Edwards, who cheated on his wife while she was dying of cancer, and ex-New York Gov. Elliott Spitzer, also known as Client No. 9 among Big Apple call girls, who’s running for New York City comptroller.
On the Republican side of the aisle we have newly elected South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford, a former governor who was romancing his mistress in Buenos Aires while his staff was telling voters that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Closer to home, we can’t overlook ex-U.S. Sen. John Ensign, who carried on an affair with his chief aide’s wife, thereby breaking the biblical injunction against coveting your best friend’s wife. And then there was ex-Gov. Jim Gibbons, who allegedly groped a Las Vegas cocktail waitress in a casino parking garage. He recently paid her off to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit, so all’s well that ends well.
In summary, maybe former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was right when he said that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” But why is it that females seem to handle political power better than men? Perhaps it’s a testosterone vs. estrogen question.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.