From Jefferson to Nixon to Reagan to Clinton, it’s probably fair to say that politicians and scandals go hand in hand, much like spaghetti and meatballs, rum and coke or Batman and Robin. The point is there’s an inescapable connection. So it really baffles the mind that there’s no federal handbook or trusty “for dummies” guide that’s slammed down on the desk of every green candidate on their first day in office. Because then a politician would know exactly what to do – and what not to do – in the face of a scandal. Take a very randomly selected modern scenario: someone has uploaded your sexts to the internet or sold them to the media. Here’s what a scandal manual would tell you not to do: 1. Don’t lie about it. 2. Don’t make a documentary about it. 3. Don’t keep doing it. Clearly Anthony Weiner (former Congressman, former candidate for mayor of New York and winner of the most unfortunate name award) hasn’t read anything like this because he did all three.
In a somewhat familiar story for New Yorkers, the former rising star of the Democratic Party has been at the center of a sexting scandal this week. Again. But while political scandals are nothing new, this story is getting more heat than normal partly because of the medium (sexting is still relatively new and shocking) and partly because so many people can relate to it (ever sent a text or a photo to someone and regretted it later?). And even though a scandal manual would come too late for Weiner, other politicians might learn some valuable life lessons from his fallout such as: if at first you don’t succeed, delete your Twitter account; or a picture’s worth a thousand words but a sext is worth a million dollars; or hell hath no fury like a digital temptress?
Some scandals can make or break careers, others can be brushed aside with some effort. And some are used as inspiration for award-winning unrealistic-but-addictive TV shows. The point is there’s an inescapable public thirst for a juicy scandal. Take the above example. Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin is a trusted long-time aide and friend of the Clintons, so naturally many people are making the inevitable comparison and trying to link the two in the hope of uncovering an even bigger scandal. This all comes amid more email controversy over the Clinton Foundation which Abedin was highly involved in. And of course Trump couldn’t resist seeking some sort of political advantage, linking “Weiner”, “Clinton” and “classified information” in one sentence as he tried to deflect from his own ailing campaign. However common sense tells us that Weiner’s tighty whities are probably unlikely to affect the outcome of the presidential election. After all, it’s not as if people are likely change their votes at the drop of a… hat.
Think you know how to get away with scandal? Think again. Movie for your mood: Notes On A Scandal