>It takes more than a little hubris for Sen. David Vitter to play the moral superiority card, but that's exactly what he's doing in the Louisiana Republican primary race against retired state Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor. Vitter, better known nationally as "that senator who slept with all those prostitutes," is beneficiary to revelations that Traylor is a homewrecker who stole a state representative's wife, and, later, the same representative's daughter-in-law.
The political rise of David Vitter is one of personal setbacks and historical ironies. He first entered the House of Representatives following Bob Livingston's dramatic resignation over an extramarital affair the day President Bill Clinton was impeached. (Livingston, then the Speaker-elect, challenged President Clinton to do the same. Clinton declined.) Three years later, Vitter set his eyes on the governor's mansion, only to withdraw following revelations that he was a patron of prostitutes and that his marriage was on the rocks.
In 2004, brandishing a solid conservative record and riding the coattails of President Bush's landslide win in the state, Vitter became the first Republican elected to the Senate in Louisiana's history. Again, he faced accusations of cavorting with ladies of ill repute, but dismissed the charges outright. It helped that he ran a positive campaign, making the charges -- an open secret in political circles -- appear somehow desperate or unseemly (or, at least, old news). His campaign commercials focused on helping Louisiana families get affordable health care and prescription medicine, and spotlighted Vitter's folksy charm.