Even sex has abandoned Washington

In 1983, as chief of staff for a newly-elected member of Congress, I interviewed many applicants for jobs in our office.

Some were earnest, sincere-sounding youngsters who said they wanted to “do something to help America.” I helped America by not hiring them.

Others were shopworn Capitol Hill veterans who had never worked outside of government. Didn’t hire them either.

Still others were recent law school graduates looking to work for low wages to get a foot in the door. No jobs for them in our office: Too many lawyers in Washington already.

Then one young lady, dressed to the nines, walked in, sat down in the chair in front of my desk, and crossed and uncrossed her legs several times. Her sheer pantyhose, and lack of underwear, revealed she wasn’t a natural blonde. More than once, she leaned forward just enough to give a good view of ample cleavage and the blue-lace top of her push-up bra.

“I really want to work in this office,” she said. “I will do anything to get the job.” She paused for effect and turned on her best vamp: “Anything.”

I thanked her, tossed her resume in the trashcan after she left and laughed. That evening, I ran into Ed Goeas, then chief of staff for Congressman John Hiler of Intiana. The flirtatious woman with the lacy push-up bra said she had worked in their campaign. I asked about her. Goeas smiled.

“Did she say she would do anything to get the job?”

“Yeah,” I said, “she did.”

He smiled again.

“She will but don’t waste your time. It’s not that good.”

Life is tough when you try to sleep your way into a job but the rap is that you’re bad in the sack. I later heard the young lady landed a job with then Texas Congressman Charles “Good Time Charlie” Wilson, whose staff of attractive women were often referred to as “Charlie’s Angels.”

I thought about her this week when I realized that the best indicator of just how bad things have become in Washington is the lack of any good sex scandals.

Sex has long been part of political lore. Former Congressman Wilbur Mills dallied with a stripper who jumped from his car one night and took a dip in a pond on the Washington Mall. Wayne Hayes hired his mistress as his secretary. She couldn’t type.

“Washington is basically a very horny city,” declared Paula Parkinson, a one-time lobbyist who bared all for Playboy and spent weekends entertaining Congressmen and future vice president Dan Quayle.

That was then. This is now. Paula found God and left town. Quayle found George H. W. Bush and left town too. Sex, like truth, appears to be a casualty of current political life on the Potomac.

Oh we had a little pillow talk politics with Paul Wolfowitz getting the boot from the World Bank because he gave his bedmate a fat promotion and raise. The DC Madam scandal made some people in power nervous but the story fizzled quickly when she failed to divulge any real dirt.

But that’s pretty much it. We haven’t had any really salacious sex scandals since Monica Lewinsky crawled under Bill Clinton’s desk in the Oval Office and destroyed forever the stereotype that Jewish American Princesses don’t give blow jobs.

When politicians are too corrupt to screw around we’re in a lot of trouble.

At the height of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, Hustler Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt offered big money to anyone who could give him dirt on Republicans who screw around. His checkbook brought down the career of Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston just as Livingstone was about the become Speaker after Newt Gingrich resigned when word emerged of Newt’s own dalliance with a Hill staffer.

Flynt repeated the offer this year: A cool million to anyone who could document the sexual hijinks of anyone in power in Washington. So far, no one’s collected.

Jessica Cutler, the former Senator Mike DeWine staff member who generated some buzz with a racy blog about her bed-hopping activities, saw her 15 minutes of fame come and go along with her job. Even with a nude spread in Playboy and a book, her kiss and tell story didn’t sell and Cutler recently declared bankruptcy.

When I moved to Washington, a magazine hired me to write an article about life in the Capital city. I struggled for weeks trying to find the right “hook” for the story. One day I walked by a strip club on M Street and spied a marquee that gave me the story.

That night I wrote:

There’s a strip club in Washington where the marquee reads: Totally nude college coeds from New York.

That’s life in the Nation’s Capital: Even the sex is from out of town.

No more. Like truth, sex packed her bags and split.