The sex scandal, once a political death-knell for philandering public figures, is taken to task by the The Daily Beast's Louise Roug, who hails from Copenhagen where "no politician has been booted for a dalliance." Before she explains The Death of the Sex Scandal, it's important to clarify what exactly she's proclaiming the death of. Specifically, she's talking about situations involving "two consenting adults, perhaps a wronged spouse" and poses this question: "can't we, the media, be done with that as a political story now that the voters have tuned out?"
Pointing to the revived careers of Mark "Appalachian trail" Sanford, South Carolina gubernatorial primary winner Nikki Haley, Senators David Vitter and John Ensign, and even Eliot Spitzer, the writer explains that simple transgressions are increasingly irrelevant with American voters. As with the once-formidable obstacles of drugs and divorce, the political sex scandal "maybe, just maybe ... is finally dead." Of course, a certain once-prominent senator from North Carolina may not embrace her assessment. (Roug admits that John Edwards is a "notable exception to the new sex scandal rules, who bedded his way to political oblivion and doesn't appear in danger of emerging anytime soon...")
And, yes, any political sex scandal talk always finds its way back to Clinton:
The 42nd president of the United States was arguable the first harbinger that the sex scandal had lost its power to end political careers. Even feminists seemed unaffected by his antics. The deeper Ken Starr delved into Clinton's sexcapades, the more his approval ratings seemed to rise. Today, despite that woman, and everything else, Clinton is a man redeemed. His rehabilitation has been so triumphant that one writer on this site recently wondered if Clinton had set a new bar for the successful post-Presidency.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.