When then-President Bill Clinton had a chance to come clean about allowing White House intern Monica Lewinsky to nosh on the First Member, he looked America in the eye and lied, saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman…Ms. Lewinsky."
Years later, after he left office and appeared on 60 Minutes to promote his book, Clinton offered this admission on why he dallied with young Monica in the Oval Office.
"Because I could," he said.
Yes, he could. That’s why so many politicians screw around. Because they can. Because politics gives them a chance to score. Were they not elected officials with at least the aura of power, most of these clowns couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse.
Sen. John Ensign is the latest to admit he porked a campaign aide. He’s not the first and he sure as hell won’t be the last. But his position as a member of Congress provided him with more opportunity simply because he is there and some flock to elected officials like groupies to rock stars.
Politics is a heady business and the chance to score extends not only to elected officials but those who work for them. When I worked on the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984, White House staffers and campaign aides would slip off their wedding rings as soon as Air Force One cleared the runway. The motto: Wheels up, rings off. Women who wouldn’t give me a second look in ordinary life invited me back to their hotel room because I worked, at the time, for the President of the United States.
The lure of easy sex makes politicians risk their careers and their reputations without a second thought. Colorado Senator Gary Hart challenged reporters to follow him around when he ran for President and they did just that, catching Washington party girl Donna Rice sneaking out of his DC townhouse after spending the night.
John Edwards screwed around while his wife battled cancer. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was nailing a House committee staff member while publicly chastising Clinton for his adultery. Gingrich later dumped his wife to marry the staffer — the second time he divorced because of an adulterous affair.
In the interest of equality, we should note that it’s not just the male politicians who mess around. Congresswoman Mary Bono was a coed when she met Sonny Bono in his Palm Springs restaurant. Their affair led to the breakup of his marriage to his third wife. After Bono died in a skiing accident, May Bono ran for his Congressional seat and dated around before entering an adulterous relationship with Rep. Connie Mack IV. Mack dumped his wife of nine-and-a-half years to marry Bono.
Sexual stupidity is not limited to married politicians or heterosexual ones. Rep. Barney Frank, the most openly-gay member of Congress, suffered political embrassment when police arrested his live-in boyfriend for running a gay prostitution ring out of the Congressman’s Capitol Hill home.
Former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato may have summed it up best. When asked why so many elected officials get caught with their pants down, D’Amato replied: "When the little head gets hard, the big head goes soft."