The Good Wives

17 Jun

The latest straying politician debacle, Wienergate, has gotten me thinking (again!) about the sexual politics of the politician and the wife.

I was talking to my sister about it, ranting about all the good wives who stand mutely by their man on the podium, as he denies, apologizes, prostates, shucks and jives. But, as she pointed out to me, one of my first examples–the South Carolina governor’s wife Jenny Sanford– was false, the lady in question left her man before the denials and recriminations even began.

That made me think I needed to compose a pair of lists, detailing the stays and the stay-nots:

  • Huma Abedin: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s primary assistant, Abedin is generally believed to be more indispensable to the Democratic party than her Wiener husband. Abedin was overseas with Clinton as the Wienergate scandal broke, and was likewise absent when he resigned this week.

Though apparently Abedin is pregnant, it remains to be seen how  long  she will tolerate her sexting-addicted husband.

  • Jenny Sanford: When news reports stated that the South Carolina governor was missing, hiking somewhere along the Appalachian trail, Jenny Sanford was preparing to separate from her husband, after having found out that his avid hiking was taking place  in the wilds of Argentina, with another woman.
  • Silda Wall Spitzer: Silda stood quietly by as her governor-husband admitted his predilection for prostitutes. Silda has been quoted as saying that her husband looked outside of the marriage for sex because she was not providing it.

  • Maria Shriver: When Arnold Schwarzenegger first ran for  governor of California, numerous accounts of sexual misconduct were reported from at least a dozen women. None of these accounts were considered unbelievable, and photographic evidence dating back to “Pumping Iron” was constantly displayed. Shriver defended her husband, going so far as to deny all of the other women’s charges.

When the recent news accounts of Schwarzeneggar having carried on a decade-plus affair and  fathering a child with a household employee aired, Shriver was nowhere in sight. She has since filed for separation, and their son tweeted that his surname is now Shriver, not Schwarzeneggar.

  • Michele Lee: Republican Chris Lee resigned in February of this year after shirtless photographs displayed by him in Craigslist personals ads were discovered. Accounts vary as to their current state, but the two remain married.
  • Suzanne Craig: After Idaho republican Larry Craig was revealed to have gone searching for gay sex in a Minnesota public restroom, his wife Suzanne vehemently denied (along with Larry himself) that he was gay.

  • Matos McGreevey: In 2004, New Jersey governor J. McGreevey admitted to conducting a gay affair with an aide. Though his wife Matos appeared by his side throughout the scandal, they have since engaged in a lengthy custody battle and divorce.

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Hillary caused a national scandal when she stated during a “60 Minutes” interview that she was not some “stand by your man” type of Tammy Wynette woman. However, after numerous accounts of President Clinton’s dalliances were publicly aired (to the point of impeachment motions in Congress), dresses were examined for semen, and every blue-collar woman this side of the Mason Dixon line reported to have experienced some illicit attention and/or advances from Ol’ Red Nose, Rodham Clinton is still standing by her man.

  • Elizabeth Edwards: Until her death from terminal cancer this winter, Elizabeth Edwards remained with her husband– despite his child with a campaign videographer and the subsequent scandal, and despite many other suspicions and near scandals. However, her tell-all autobiography and subsequent book tour last summer left the impression that she was standing by her man, albeit with an unsheathed knife at the ready.


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