by Burt Prelutsky
I have long pondered why people want to get into politics. I’m aware of the obvious perks and I understand that some people want to be the center of attention. But, still, how can anyone stand having to spend hours in the company of egomaniacal dunderheads like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer? But then I realized that politics serves the same purpose as show business for those people who can’t act, sing, dance or play a musical instrument. But whereas show business attracts the gifted, the talented and the good-looking, politics attracts those who are none of those things.
And just as show business serves as an incubator for unleashed libidos, politics gives the homely, the boring and the totally unremarkable, a shot at being a chick magnet. I even recall thinking back in the 1970s when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was making a name for himself as a ladies man, squiring around the likes of Jill St. John and other starlets, that any administration that had a guy who looked and sounded like Kissinger as its resident sex symbol was in big trouble. As I saw it, Watergate was inevitable.
But lest you think I am indulging in hyperbole, I’ll give you a rundown on just those politicians who, over just the past two decades, were involved in sex scandals involving female members of their staff. That precludes, say, Mark Sanford, who left his heart and precious bodily fluids down in Argentina.
Frankly, I’m surprised that the wives of politicians don’t insist that their hubbies only hire men. Of course, as we discovered with Rep. Eric “Mr. Tickle” Massa, even male staffers aren’t always safe around randy politicians.
In the spirit of being fair-minded and non-partisan, I will indicate the party affiliation of these old goats who make our laws when they’re not busy just making out. (For the record, Massa was a Democrat and Sanford, a Republican.)
In alphabetical order: Bill Clinton (D), Gary Condit (D), John Edwards (D), John Ensign (R), Newt Gingrich (R), Steve LaTourette (R), Tim Mahoney (D), Robert Packwood (R), Mal Reynolds (D) and Mark Souder (R).
Keep in mind those are just the clucks who, like Ted Kennedy, got involved with their interns, secretaries and volunteers, and, God knows, I may have missed a few. It does not include TV reporters or the wives of staffers and contributors. Neither does it include those who prefer, like Eliot Spitzer, to have sex on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Clearly, these politicians have way too much time on their hands. In such cases, the prescription is generally to take up a hobby. The trouble is, these guys already have.