More than a week after his now-famous Twitter photo hit the Internet, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner finally admitted on Monday that he's had sexually explicit online exchanges with at least six young women. One exchange, in which Weiner romanced a woman on Facebook with winning lines like, " you give good head?", began less than a month after he married top Hilary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Placed in this humiliating spotlight, it's hard to imagine Abedin isn't having some second thoughts about her matrimonial choices.
Weiner isn't the only politician whose scummy behavior has been recently revealed. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver split earlier this year after Schwarzenegger copped to fathering a child with a member of their household staff in 2003, months before he was elected governor of California. The pregnancy was carried to term while the woman continued to work in their home; "Its so 19th century," says a Slate staffer. Around the time the child was born, Shriver was adamantly defending Schwarzenegger against claims of sexual harassment that rocked his campaign.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, meanwhile, was arrested and indicted for an alleged sexual assault and attempted rape of a maid at a swanky Midtown Manhattan hotel suite. Until the indictment, DSK was head of the International Monetary Fund and a popular choice for the French presidency. He has been married to Anne Sinclair, a famous French television journalist, since 1991.
John Edwards lied about his longtime affair with campaign videographer Reille Hunter and the daughter he fathered with her during his 2008 presidential campaign. On Friday, Edwards was indicted for using more than $1 million in unreported campaign funds to hide the affair from the public and his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying from breast cancer. Several Slate staffers agreed this story is particularly offensive because of Edward's carefully crafted campaign persona as "a sweet family man."
Nevada Sen. John Ensign resigned this April after facing an inquiry from the Senate ethics committee. Ensign, a religious conservative, had presidential hopes dashed after he admitted in 2009 that he had a two-year affair with a former campaign staffer who was also the wife of his aide and best friend, Douglas Hampton. An extensive investigation by the ethics committee alleges that Ensign violated federal law by helping Hampton get a $96,000 severance payment and a lobbyist job thereafter.
The women of Slate give their thoughts on this collection of jerks: Online affairs may be just "stupid and embarrassing," while "men who [allegedly] abuse women" are a different strata of repugnant. Then again, Edwards and Schwarzenegger actually fathered and debatably abandoned children, while "DSK and Weiner seem to have been omnidirectional cads who didn't form lasting attachments." One Slate woman suggests that Weiner would love this poll: "He comes off smelling like a rose" by comparison.
It's a tough call: Who would you least want to be married to? You can vote in the poll below. Feel free to expand on your decision in the comments section.
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