—Minnesota Representatives Tim Kelly and Tara Mack
Minnesota Representatives Kelly and Mack just put themselves into the political nooky hall of fame with one of the greatest quotes denying their alleged sexual activity. Otherwise two non-descript pro-life family values type of Republican candidates, married to other individuals, the two were caught with the pants down–literally–by a police officer observing their tryst in the park. While I still wonder how the police officer knew the two were semi-pantless, whether necking in the park is illegal, or if it should be considered probable cause to search, nonetheless the two deny their affair by explaining their presence at the park as one of simply “exchanging documents.”
No doubt one of the lamest excuses any of us have ever heard. One would have thought that seasoned politicians like them could have come up with a smarter retort or excuse. Having sex in a car should not be reason to exclude them for future office, offering such a dumb answer should as it questions their intelligence.
However, their quote made me think of other great denials involving political nooky. The sad part is that there are so many pathetic sex scandals in American history that reducing good quotes just down to a handful is a chore. But here are my favorites.
“She's better than Gypsy Rose Lee.” This was a quote by Congressman Wilbur Mills, in reference to a stripper Fanne Fox whom he was seeing. What is great here is that there was no denial; instead simply a wonderful justification for why he chased her and watched her shows during the day.
“We made love on the marble steps that overlook the monuments and the city below.” Rita Jenrette uttered this famous line in Playboy when discussing her husband Congressman John Jenrette. John was under investigation for taking bribes during ABSCAM and upon his denial he wife then asked how he would explain all that money in the freezer.
"Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored.” This is what Senator Hart declared in response to allegations he was fooling around. The media took him up on his dare, only to find a great picture of the senator with Donna Rice sitting on his lap by the good ship Monkey Business.
"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the—if he—if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement." President’s Bill Clinton’s famous denial about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Equally famous are assertions that his denial of having sex with Lewinsky hinged on whether oral sex constituted sex.
“I was hiking the Appalachian Trail.” South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford disappeared for several days, telling his staff and the public he was off taking a hike. Instead he was visiting whom he described his “Argentine soul mate,” a woman with whom he was having an affair.
"Positioned them, I don't know. I don’t know at the time. I'm a fairly wide guy." Often misquoted as “I have a wide stance,” this is what Senator Larry Craig said in his defense to charges that he sought to solicit sex in a men’s room at the Minneapolis Airport.
“The answer is I did not send that tweet. My system was hacked, I was pranked. It was a fairly common one. People make fun of my name all the time. When you're named Weiner, you kind of get that. I've asked a firm to take a look at this. They're an internet security operation. We want to make sure that it doesn't happen again.” Congress Anthony Weiner was not so much caught with his pants down (at least all the way down) but instead of repeatedly sextexting (unwelcome) crotch shots of himself to women, some of whom were constituents. He blamed his ill-fated name and computer hacking as the cause of these problems.
But denial is not always the case when it comes to political sex scandals. Sometimes elected officials provide a breath of fresh air and honestly.
Representative Eric Massa: "not only did I grope [a staffer], I tickled him until he couldn't breathe.” If you are going to be accused go big or go home.
Then of course once Clinton did admit to an affair with Lewinsky and was asked why he did it, he offered as justification: "the worst possible reason, because I could."
Finally sometimes politicians are understated in their honesty. When asked about the allegations that he hand an extramarital affair and that he and his middle-aged friends went skinny dipping with his daughter’s teenage female friends, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate John Grunseth stated: “I always haven’t been a perfect person. I think I ‘m a pretty decent guy.”