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  1. #1
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Default presidents and marital fidelity

    Off the top of my head I can think of several presidents who were unfaithful to their wives either before or when they were president.
    FDR
    Eisenhower
    Kennedy
    Johnson
    Clinton

    Other than Clinton has it tarnished their legacy?
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Default

    I don't think it really has, but remember in certain circles the infidelity with one or more mistresses, while the marriage is for heirs, and social position and wealth is fairly standard. Turning a blind eye to infidelity isn't just limited to politicians. And with Clinton and others people seem to compartmentalize it, and look at the Presidency and their legacy separately.

    And was it Harding that had an illegitimate child, and that was rather widely known, and there was even a nasty little chant about it. They've even had tv pieces about a man that some people claim is LBJ's son-and the former mistress claims that's the father, but there will never be any proof, and personally I doubt that one. I also think that sometimes, like Kennedy,that it's part of the cult of personality that grows around them, and some people actually admire them as great womanizers.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
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    SF Bay Area
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    Default

    There was a gentleman's agreement not to cover presidential trysts until recent years. Heck, many people didn't even realize that FDR was confined to a wheelchair.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 15, 2004
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    Ontario
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    Default

    Well, you can't beat President F. Mitterand of France who had a daughter, raised during his presidency and at his funeral, both the wife and his sons and the mistress and daughter were present.

    Unfortunately, that did nothing to tarnish his image. Sigh... It was known in Parisian circles, but there again ... privacy, ... the press never said a word... another of Mitterand's accomplishments ... and lies.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Michigan
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    10,361

    Default

    JFK is definitely viewed with a more cynical eye than during his lifetime (and what probably saved him from a REALLY nasty reputation and a lot more ugliness was, ironically enough, getting his head blown off. Nothing gets whitewashed faster than a dead "martyr." I actually cut the guy a certain degree of slack as given what raised him, it's harder to understand how one of the Kennedy boys, Robert, managed to turn out NOT being a serial philanderer.)

    Clinton's problem was not that he screwed around. It was misusing police authority to do it (Paula Jones) and suborning perjury about it (Monica Lewinski-there's a reason he was disbarred after he left office.) He was by FAR not the first president to cheat, and frankly the cheaters were less creepy than Wilson chasing his second wife (but Wilson was a weirdo all-round.)



  6. #6
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    Jul. 20, 2010
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    Texarkana, AR
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    JFK is definitely viewed with a more cynical eye than during his lifetime (and what probably saved him from a REALLY nasty reputation and a lot more ugliness was, ironically enough, getting his head blown off. Nothing gets whitewashed faster than a dead "martyr." I actually cut the guy a certain degree of slack as given what raised him, it's harder to understand how one of the Kennedy boys, Robert, managed to turn out NOT being a serial philanderer.)

    Clinton's problem was not that he screwed around. It was misusing police authority to do it (Paula Jones) and suborning perjury about it (Monica Lewinski-there's a reason he was disbarred after he left office.) He was by FAR not the first president to cheat, and frankly the cheaters were less creepy than Wilson chasing his second wife (but Wilson was a weirdo all-round.)
    Oh honey, his disbarment was political only. I've known plenty of Arkansas attorneys that have done way worse and maybe got a slap on the wrist. Besides I think it was only a temporary disbarment.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 6, 2001
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    Fairfax
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    Default

    Infidelity and other negative behaviors in the oval office are a big deal, and not just for moral and ethical reasons.

    When you misbehave, and lie about it, you open yourself up to blackmail. What if the Chinese knew about Monica and said, agree to this trade deal or I release the following info. May seem like a silly example, but it is a real concern.

    When you sign on for the presidency, you are privy to national security issues. Part of that obligation is not making yourself vulnerable to blackmail.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
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    With power comes attitude. Eleanor Roosevelt had a lesbian lover, Hillary cheated on Bill (Arkansas State Police hated to be around the two of them). What fun people.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Default

    I had a bunch of foreign born coworkers at one facility and they couldn't see what the big Clinton hoorah was all about. Power attracts, money attracts, sexual dalliances and corruption up to a point was expected.
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