Career-Ending U.S. Political Scandals
Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa?
While the basic affair is bad enough, the horrifying mess is doubled when the politician in question fathers an illegitimate child. This isn't surprising; after all, being dishonest is one thing, but being dishonest and a poor provider is something else entirely.
Maybe this is why Grover Cleveland (top left), probably the most prominent politician to have fathered a child out of wedlock, was still able to make it to the White House. While critics taunted him with the refrain: Ma, Ma, where's my pa?, they also had to acknowledge that Cleveland was very generous when it came to child support. After his election in 1884, supporters answered the goad with a refrain of their own: Down in the White House, ha, ha, ha! Other philanderers haven't been so lucky. For example, the revelation that Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C., top right) fathered a child with campaign worker Rielle Hunter ended his hopes of nabbing the vice presidential slot under Barack Obama. And when it came out that Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y., bottom left) had fathered a child outside his marriage, he decided to not seek reelection.
Edwards and Fossella join a long, if not particularly distinguished fraternity: Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind., bottom right) admitted that he had an illegitimate child, while famed segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) was later found to have fathered a child with a then-underage black woman who worked for his family.