Presidential sex scandals are as American as the bald eagle and apple pie. Before paparazzi, men of the White House could hide their scandals much more easily, but don't be fooled, these affairs have been occurring as early as Thomas Jefferson's presidency.
For those who are into politics, election season is very exciting. Democrats and Republicans alike are looking forward to seeing who will take over the Oval Office. After all, by the time elections come around, one president has been there for what most consider far too long, and it is time for a new resident. There are debates, mudslinging, insane campaign promises that make us scratch our heads. People prop out of the campaign, people join that campaign; more debates, more mudslinging, and the cycle continues. However, the one thing that is almost always part of the presidency, if not the presidential race, is a good old-fashioned sex scandal.
Sex and politics seem to go together like ham and eggs or peanut butter and jelly. Sad, but true. Politicians are real people and real people sometimes do things they shouldn't. Though some think that politicians are role models and, therefore, are held to a higher standard. Years of political monkey business have disproven this theory. Some politicians are better at getting away with things—just watch the television show Scandal. Powerful men are sexier, forbidden fruit, and women love a good challenge. And in the end, some men are just pigs and don't care who gets hurt.
These scandals have been going on for years, since the beginning of politics, which just might be since the beginning of time. With social media, we have been witness to politicians sexting and photos of their "equipment," which would be the politically correct term for their penises. Can you imagine if there was Snapchat when George Washington was around? His friend might have taken a picture of him chopping down the cherry tree and would be able to put an end to all of the speculation. What is truly amazing is how some of these scandals completely destroy careers, yet others, remained unscathed and continue serving the people.
It is hard to say when the first politician fueled sexual indiscretion took place, but let us take a journey through the fascinating world of political sex scandals-the good, the bad, and the you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me!
Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Again, the details of earlier scandals are a bit fuzzy. Many are based on innuendo and rumor since there was no TMZ following these guys around. Let us begin with our third president, Thomas Jefferson. He was also the author of the Declaration of Independence, in case you didn't know that. He married Martha Wayles Skelton, a wealthy young widow, in 1772. This union made him a very wealthy man and more than doubled his property in land and slaves. And though he became popular by being racist and claiming that a biracial American society was impossible, there is some evidence that suggests that President Jefferson and a lovely slave named Sally Hemings had a very long "relationship." This "relationship," which started after the president's wife died due to complications from the delivery of the couple's third child, resulted in several children of their own. There has been much discussion about their coupling, but for the purpose of this article, this might have been the first sex scandal, even though the public didn't know about it until years later. It's like if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, does it make a sound? If a president is being a bad boy and the press doesn't know about it—did it really happen?
James Buchanan and William Rufus King
James Buchanan, our illustrious fifteenth president, was rumored to be once engaged to the lovely Anne Coleman. Unfortunately, the engagement was broken off and Anne was rumored to have died via suicide a short time later. Turns out, there was an even greater rumor that President Buchanan was gay. He was once quoted as saying, "I have gone wooing to several gentleman, but have not succeeded with any of them." It was said he had a long time companion, by the name of William Rufus King, who critics referred to as his "better half" and "his wife."
Warren G. Harding and Nan Britton
Another "bad boy" President is Warren G. Harding. In a 1927 book by Nan Britton titled The President's Daughter, she writes about her illegitimate daughter that she had with Mr. President. Since times back then were very prim and proper, though not too proper for a scandalous affair, the book was not very well received. It was censored for what was referred to as its obscene content. No naked photos of anyone involved were passed around anywhere. What is interesting to note is that the affair did not come to light until after he died. Another affair became public in 1963, when letters were found that were written to Harding by Carrie Phillips, Carrie being the wife of one of Harding's long-time friends, James Phillips. She was 10 years younger than him and the affair last for more than 15 years. Carrie tried to blackmail Harding into voting against a declaration of war on Germany—the nerve of her! But, again, since the news isn't what it is now, no one knew about any of this lascivious behavior.
Should we even go into the life and scandalous times of John F. Kennedy? What was true and what was false when it comes to Marilyn Monroe? The country loved him so they kept forgiving him and apparently so did his ultra classy and fashion-forward wife, so we will just skip ahead to the real prize packages that were to come.
Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky
And then there is Bill Clinton. He did not have sex with THAT woman, a Ms. Monica Lewinsky, so who did he have sex with? Was it Gennifer Flowers? Was it Paula Jones? Was it Hillary Clinton? Oh wait, that is his wife, so he probably did not have sex with her. The Monica "affair" is the most disturbing because he took advantage of a young woman who was totally in love with him. Ms. Lewinsky started out with an unpaid internship at the White House and then moved to a paid position in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs in December of 1995. Affairs, isn't that ironic. Not sure what she accomplished by saving the infamous dress, or trusting Linda Tripp with the intimate details of her relationship, but her life was turned upside down. As for President Clinton, it was all just a little blip in his presidency.
Looking forward to seeing how our future presidents will entertain us. Here's hoping they all decide to keep it in their pants and focus on making our country great again!