Those who survived a sex scandal. And those who didn’t


As he launches his run for Mayor of New York, former Rep. Anthony Weiner should have no problem overcoming public loathing. This is America. We are a forgiving nation. For the most part.

Should history be our guide, Weiner will rise again. (Oh, you knew that hackery was coming sooner or later.)

Think about Thomas Jefferson. Dude had sex and a child with his teenaged slave. Where is TJ today? On Mount Rushmore.

This is America. Land of forgivers.

For contemporary inspiration on these matters, Weiner should look no further than the man who officiated at his wedding: Former President Bill Clinton.

Stains on a blue dress? “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…” Cigars. Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — IN THE WHITE HOUSE — seems like a million years ago culturally. Clinton has rehabbed to the point where the internationally-revered Clinton Global Initiative gets props for saving President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign by being what Obama called The Secretary of Explaining Stuff (that, uh, Obama couldn’t.)

Another factor helping Weiner: His sex scandal didn’t — as far as we know — involve ACTUAL SEX. As we wrote way back when, it was 21st century scandal. The sexless sex scandal.

Check our slideshow above for some other politicians who were caught in sex scandals and managed to remain either in office or as prominent national voices.

Of course, there are many who didn’t survive their sex scandals. Sen. Larry Craig is at the top of the list. Even though he was arrested for allegedly trying to pick up an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport bathroom — he later pled guilty to disorderly conduct — he never really owned the matter. Of note: Craig had a history of anti-gay political stances.

And John Edwards? Puh-leeze. Dude cheated on his wife while she had/was recovering from cancer. Even America doesn’t forgive everybody. Then again, maybe there’s a show for him on CNN….

But don’t feel too bad for Edwards. He’s now working on Wall Street.

Here’s Weiner’s re-entry into the political world:

Joe Garofoli