“I have known 11 Prime Ministers and 7 of them were adulterers”
~Prime Minister William Gladstone~
~The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland~
T.H. White, an American political journalist who covered the six presidential elections from 1960 to 1980 famously once said he only knew of three Presidential candidates who were faithful to their wives: Harry Truman, George Romney, and Jimmy Carter.
While it’s easy to either throw all the presidents under the bus or to blindly defend all of them (or at least our favorites), they are all individuals. Many owned slaves and having sexual relations with slaves was not uncommon. Also, many grew up in times when prostitution was legal. The Reynolds Affair, The Petticoat Affair and the infamous womanizing of Ben Franklin show that the Federal Period of American history had as much sexual scandal as our more modern era.
And we’re not even talking about pre-marital affairs…. Or how about the social acceptance or non-acceptance of age differences?
Grover Cleveland, at age 49, married one of his best friends’ daughter who was 21?? 28 years difference? And if you think that’s bad, Tyler and his second wife were 30 years apart….
GW Sally Fairfax*
GW Venus (Mother of West Ford)*
GW Lavenia Vanderweaver*
GW Mary Gibbons*
Adams (hahahahah, ya, right!)
TJ Sally Hemmings
TJ Maria Cosway*
Adams Alleged to have ‘pimped’ for Czar Alexander*
Jackson Rachel Donelson (technicality)
Harrison A slave (named “Dilsia” or mother of “Dilsia”)*
Tyler Lydia Ann Taylor mother of John Dunjee Taylor*
Pierce Jane Means Appleton?
Buchanan Sen. William R. King*
Lincoln Ann Rutledge? Hannah Armstrong? Matilda
Johnson At age 18, married a 16-year-old Eliza McCardle
Grant Madly in love with Julia!
Garfield Lucia Calhoun
Cleveland Maria Halpin
Cleveland Francis Folsom?
TR Edith Kermit Carow?
Wilson Mary Peck
Harding Nan Britton
Harding Carrie Fulton Phillips
FBR Lucy Mercer, etc., etc., etc….
IKE Kay Summersby
JFK Angie Dickenson
JFK Marlene Dietrich
JFK Gunilla Von Post
JFK Gene Tierney
JFK Pamela Turnure
JFK Marilyn Monroe
JFK Judith Campbell
JFK Ellen Rometsch
JFK Mary Pinchot Meyer
JFK Mimi Beardsley
JFK Mimi Alford
JFK Judith Campbell Exner
JFK Blaze Starr
JFK Fiddle and Faddle
LBJ Alice Glass
LBJ Madeline Brown
LBJ Helen G. Douglas
Nixon Marianna Liu*
Ford Ellen Rometsch
Carter (“I have lusted in my heart many times”)
Reagan Nancy Davis (while married to Jane Wyman)
Bush Jennifer Fitzgerald*
Clinton Paula Jones
Clinton Gennifer Flowers
Clinton Monica Lewinski
But it goes beyond consensual heterosexual relationships, as I mentioned already, there is the issue of non-consensual, whether it be the infamous quote by Donald Trump to Billy Bush, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings or Bill Clinton and his relationships, specifically Monica Lewinski.
Washington, Harrison, and Taylor too are believed to have had sexual relations with their slaves….
GW Venus (Mother of West Ford)
Harrison A slave (named “Dilsia” or mother of “Dilsia”)
Tyler Lydia Ann Taylor (mother of John Dunjee Taylor)
Isn’t it interesting that Gary Hart’s career was ended over consensual sex, and Bill Clinton won the presidency in the very next election? Womanizing is ok, just don’t tell me about it, oh wait, now I know, that’s horrible in 1988 and I guess its ok in 1992 and 2016?
Think of all the social stigmas that have been used to judge people over time, and we all may have different opinions as to whether those were or are legitimate reasons for supporting or not supporting a political candidate. The presumed gay relationship between James Buchanan and VP William King
Deficiencies that may have actually impacted the execution of the office of the President like Grant’s alcoholism or W’s dry drunk syndrome.
And then there are the issues that have been used to derail political careers that are hard to understand such as Thomas Eagleton who had to drop out of the 1972 race because he received electrotherapy for depression… oh, but untreated depression like Nixon’s melancholy moodiness and presumed bouts of depression is ok….
And, speaking of 1972, Edmund Muskie had to drop out because he cried…. And then we wind up with John Boehner as the 53rd Speaker of the House lol
Douglas Ginsburg and so many others who lost their careers or the momentum of their careers because of drug use… then Bill Clinton famously says he didn’t inhale, and we wind up with a wider acceptance of marijuana use by politicians… Clinton, W, and Obama…
I mean heck, Bill Clinton essentially dodged the draft and even went to Russia during the Vietnam War and was elected President… just like W avoided Vietnam by joining the OK Air National Guard, then barely ever showed up.
Obama and the racist lying birther movement that Donald Trump enflamed…
The presidents of the United States have a collective history of owning slaves, Non-consensual sex, alcoholism, drug use, and draft dodging, and almost George Wallacesque use of racist rhetoric… and the losers? Some of them cried and sought treatment for mental health…
So, you know, if someone ever asks you if walking into a pot shop or grabbing a beer will derail your future political career, just remind them, heck, it might even increase your chances these days….