Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) confessed yesterday to engaging in sexting relationships with half a dozen woman. He sent all of these women illicit pictures of himself. Weiner, who is married, says that he never had any physical relationship with any of these women (indeed, he says he never met any of them) and that he has no plans to resign.
Weiner may survive the scandal but his future political prospects - he had been rumored to be a potential candidate for Mayor of New York City in 2013 - and unquestionably tarnished. Here's a quick look back at some of the most recent sex scandals to shake American politics.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Governator had battled allegations of infidelity for most of his acting & political career, but it exploded once he left office after he was forced to admit that he had a fourteen-year old son, born to a former household employee. Schwarzenegger had announced a separation from his wife a week prior and had been working on several acting & promotional projects at the time - all of those projects are now on indefinite hold.
2. Eliot Spitzer: The former Attorney General & Governor of New York was caught in a prostitution scandal - probably not a good thing for any politician, let alone a former Attorney General. Spitzer's marriage survived - his political career did not, and he resigned shortly after the scandal broke. Spitzer now works as a commentator for CNN and occasionally floats his name for political office (good luck with that).
3. David Vitter: The Louisana Senator had a similar scandal to Spitzer - prostitution. His phone number appeared in the records of the D.C. Madam, a known prostitute. Vitter confessed to misconduct and asked for forgiveness, though he did say it was a private matter that his wife had already been aware of. In Vitter's case, his career was tarnished but not over - he did not resign and was reelected in 2010.
4. Chris Lee: This is one of the briefest sex scandals in recent memory. Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) responded to a personal ad on Craigslist by sending a shirtless picture of himself. After the recipient learned who Lee was, she turned the info over to Gawker, which published the information. Lee literally resigned later that day.
5. John Ensign: The former Nevada Senator had an affair with the wife of one of his top aides. When confronted, Ensign got his aide a job as a lobbyist and set him up with clients. Ensign's parents also gave the family a $96,000 gift, widely perceived as hush money. Ultimately, a Senate Ethics investigation found credibly evidence that Ensign had broken the law - but, Ensign had resigned shortly before the release of the report.
6. John Edwards: The former Senator, Vice Presidential & Presidential candidate was recently indicted by federal officials for actions related to an extra-marital affair. Edwards had an affair with a photographer, Rielle Hunter, with whom he had fathered a child (that he initially denied was his and had an aide take the blame for).