The annals of governors who have left office under skeptical circumstances are replete with sordid tales of crime, corruption, and shall we say “dalliances”. It seems as though the Federal Government has designated a suite of cells in the federal prison system reserved specifically for use by the Governor of Illinois. No, I’m not kidding. Four of the last seven have left office and gone to the Big House.

Again, I digress.

There is a chapter dedicated to former Palmetto State Governor Mark Sanford. While he didn’t follow the Illinois tradition, his exit from South Carolina’s Big Chair was just as dramatic. He told his family and staff he was going to “hike the Appalachian trail”. Little did anyone know, but Sanford’s idea of a stroll through the hills consisted of hopping a flight to Buenos Aires and going off the grid for seven days.

I’m not going to criticize Sanford’s personal decisions. His choices are his own and he’s responsible for them. Having said that, one of the things a man gives up when he sits in the Big Chair is the personal freedom to drop everything and disappear for a week. When you’re the Governor, people have to know where you are – it’s just part of the job. Don’t like giving up that much of your personal privacy? Tough. Steer clear of high public office.

One would think that Sanford would have the good sense to know his time in the sun had ended. Perhaps he could go write a book. Maybe he could set up a half-way house for newly paroled Illinois governors. Ride herd on the cattle drives on the rolling pampas of Argentina. Surely he could find something to do with the rest of his life.

No, Dear Reader. He’s not capable of that. It seems that politics is all he knows and so now he’s gone and won the Republican primary  for  the first congressional district of South Carolina – a seat he held prior to his run for Governor. He’ll face Elizabeth Colbert Busch (yes, Stephen’s sister) in the upcoming special election to fill the seat vacated by Tim Scott’s appointment to the Senate.

Sigh.

 I’m sorry, Dear Reader, but I’m wondering what is wrong with the Republican party – specifically those in South Carolina who saw fit to rally to this guy’s banner. Is there no one else to be found in South Carolina’s first district other than a disgraced former governor who could run for this seat? Colbert-Busch promised:

I look forward to a vigorous campaign that focuses on creating jobs, balancing our country’s budget and choosing an independent-minded leader who shares the values of the great people of South Carolina.

With due respect to Stephen’s sister, I’ve been watching politics long enough to know this race will focus on Sanford’s disappearance and every little detail about it and his new fiancée rather than anything having to do with jobs, budget, or values.

This was a safe seat that could have been easily won by someone without Sanford’s steamer trunks full of lead baggage. Thanks a lot South Carolina.

I’ve been enamored with the idea of General David Petraeus as a candidate on the GOP ticket for some time now. I constantly listed him on my own, private list of potential VP candidates for Mitt Romney, especially given Mitt’s light foreign policy resume. But when it became obvious that the campaign was going to be all about the economy, that thought faded.

As Romney went down in defeat to Barack Obama, I was already collecting the list of GOP horses for 2016 in my head. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment, just for the record. And while the obvious names percolated to the top, Petreaus’ name was one still floating in the troposphere of my brain. And why wouldn’t it? One of the most successful military leaders in the last 25 years of our nation’s history, now the head of the CIA, who appears to be a smart, rational and capable leader.

That was until last week, when Petreaus resigned and it was revealed that he had been having an extramarital affair. And even more interesting is the news that many top officials have known about the affair for month.

The David Petraeus case is yet another in a long line of promising political careers dashed by the sad loss of judgement and self control, which has claimed the careers of people like Gary Hart, Eliot Spitzer, and Mark Sanford.

Scratch one dark horse off the 2016 race card.

The justice system is apparently through with John Edwards. But according to the former Senator and presidential candidate, God isn’t. If the Almighty needs a helping hand, Edwards — the legal albatross removed from his neck — is ready to help. He began rehabilitating his image the minute his trial concluded, vowing his devotion to selfless charity on behalf of the children. And then there’s the one about Little Red Riding Hood. Read more

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is one versatile individual. He proved his mastery of psychoanalysis when he diagnosed TEA Partiers as products of dysfunctional families. He’s now issuing free legal advice to Sandra Fluke, urging her to sue Rush Limbaugh for “slander, libel, and whatever else might be involved.”

A dangerous precedent is established when politicians openly promote lawsuits between citizens. Such use of governmental influence belies a nation where everyone is equal before the law and drives an unnecessary wedge between the populace. Legally, Hoyer isn’t prohibited from supporting Fluke. But ethically he should refrain from encouraging civil litigation. He violated the public’s trust, compromised a potential lawsuit’s integrity, and possibly led Sandra Fluke astray. Read more

Public figures are bound to offend from time to time. Occasionally they’ll stick their foot so far in their mouth they’ll develop athlete’s tongue. Enter Rush Limbaugh, who might need to brush his teeth with fast-acting Tinactin. If you missed it, Rush called Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke some unflattering names after she practically begged congressional Democrats to force Georgetown to meet her contraceptive demands.

The villain is, predictably, anyone who criticizes Sandra Fluke. But keep in mind that Fluke is no innocent bystander; she’s a feminine activist. She knew full well that Georgetown didn’t include contraceptives in student insurance plans before she enrolled. Sandra’s an operative who used her private life to affect public policy, thus inviting criticism. Frankly, Ms. Fluke is symptomatic of the entitlement attitude that has infected our nation. She demands a benefit at someone else’s expense and is willing to grovel at government’s feet to get it. A freedom fighter she’s not. Read more

The moderate that everyone hates to love, David Kaiser, became a father this afternoon. Please join us in welcoming the newest 2012 race fan.

David Michael Kaiser IV was today born at 2:17 p.m. I’m told he arrived at 5 lbs 3 oz and wearing a Gary Johnson 2012 button.

(PD hopes you had a merry and non-partisan Christmas! Now let’s get back to it.)

CNN has an exclusive up tonight about Newt’s first divorce, refuting his claim that it was Jackie who requested it.

It’s doubtful this will change anyone’s mind about the former speaker. Either the adultery and divorce bother you, or they don’t. His honesty about who wanted the divorce probably won’t rank high on your list of concerns.

But it does remind us that matters of personal integrity often have a way of shaping races. But should they?

The entire Herman Cain story is fascinating. He’s accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, but denies the allegations vigorously and pledges to fight on. Despite some slippage in the polls, he’s forged ahead and changed the subject pretty effectively since the scandal first broke.

But now he’s accused of a consensual 13-year affair, nothing illegal, and he’s considering an exit? He’s said, “We are reassessing as we speak. Reassessment means reevaluation.”

Cain’s collapse might be the single greatest gift Newt Gingrich has ever received.

Political candidates are nowhere until their ethics are challenged, their morals are questioned, or their character is assassinated. No one can be considered a viable candidate for elected office until they’re targeted for destruction. Judging from this week’s news, Herman Cain has arrived.

A story that began with two women alleging “inappropriate behavior” has grown to include a third woman, female staffers from a conservative talk radio show in Iowa, and hush money from the National Restaurant Association. Yet the details about what occurred, if anything, have thus far been silenced, if they’re known at all. With each “revelation” the Cain saga seems more and more like Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings. Read more

Call for troubleshooters

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Filed Under Scandals on Oct 31 

Some of you report that PD is currently generating errors in certain browsers. Will you help us troubleshoot them? In the comments, please tell us whether you’re on a Mac or PC and what browser/version you’re using. Also, if you’re getting intermittent script errors, please list those as well.

To encourage the lazy among us to participate, I’ll pick a random commenter to receive an autographed copy of The Wedding Letters.

Potentially damaging? Or much ado about nothing?

This is a fantastic article that a good friend of mine sent to me yesterday. I love the side by side comparisons of these two very controversial figures. Ironically, my very first article was something very similar.

Click here to read the article by Joe Scarborough.

If you would like to read the article I wrote comparing Anthony Weiner to Lebron James, click the “Read More” link.

Enjoy your Wednesdays PD family!

Read more

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the Solyndra scandal.  It’s being touted as Obama’s first scandal, well at least the first one that has known ties to the White House.  How will this impact 2012?  Or will it just blow over by then?

Miss this yesterday?

Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post calls attention to this ad set to run in a Texas newspaper.

This seems like an awful lot of money to spend on an ad likely to result in a large number of people saying, “No!” emphatically and continuing with their days, but then again, perhaps this lack of acumen is why I am not the president of CASH. And I’m not sure why he chose the “Star Wars” font. Nothing says effective ad-making like “an ad (hominem) hoping to find someone who has had sex with Rick Perry, written in a “Star Wars” font, that implies offensive things about Hillary Clinton’s footwear.”

It’s not even a personal attack. It’s an ad hoping it can make a personal attack later. Is this really where we are?

“Gee,” this ad says. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a scandal in Rick Perry’s personal life? Get on that, facts.”

“Rick Perry Is A Family Values Hypocrite*” the ad says. *We still have no facts to support this claim.

Are we okay with this? We shouldn’t be.

Where is the line here, folks?

Even if you choose not to weigh in, give her post a quick glance. Her proposed ads for Romney, Bachmann and Paul are pretty clever.

So much for ‘freedom of the press’.

This episode makes the President look like Joseph Paine.

Must see Weiner TV

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Filed Under Scandals on Jun 16 

His greatest hits.

Weinergate exposed

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Filed Under Scandals on Jun 6 

Where is the outrage? If the tearfest today had featured a GOP member of Congress, all you-know-what would have hit the fan.

He says he won’t resign, but isn’t this just the tip of the iceberg? Will he survive Weinergate?

Is this really the best his district can do? Really? You’re proud to have him as your Congressman, VA-8?

Here’s an entertaining look back at the 10 worst decisions of 2010. As Politico says, these aren’t to be confused with gaffes. These are bone-headed decisions that changed story lines forever.

Or maybe the better question would be: What should happen to Charlie Rangel?

Earlier today Rangel was found guilty on 11 violations of House rules. (Only 11?) Some of those include–but are not limited to–the following: used House stationary and staff to solicit money for a school of public policy in his name at the City College of New York, solicited donors for the center with interests before the Ways and Means Committee, using an apartment in Harlem zoned for residential use as his campaign office, failing to report more than $600,000 on his financial disclosure report, and failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.

My answer to the original question? Nothing. Oh well, maybe a slap on the wrist. He should be given the boot. If he had any integrity at all he would resign. However, I’m not holding my breath.