The recent news that former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child while married to Maria Shriver was a shock. From the outside, Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver looked like a happy couple. Beneath the chrome is a man who had denied allegations that he groped and sexually harassed women on movie sets in the past.
Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger was hoping to follow in the footsteps of political icon Ronald Reagan. What better way to secure political relevance than to marry a Kennedy? With no political experience under his belt, Schwarzenegger couldn’t bank on his celebrity alone to win over California voters.
Reagan, as we all know, was a B-movie actor who went on to hold the highest position in the land. Schwarzenegger’s interview on CBS’s show 60 Minutes revealed an interest in amending the Constitution to further his political career:
He is ineligible to run for president. Would he like to be able to? Would he like to see an amendment to the Constitution?
"Yes. Absolutely," says Schwarzenegger. "I think, you know, because why not? Like with my way of thinking, you always shoot for the top. But it's not something that I am preoccupied with. I am not thinking one single minute about that. Because there's so many things I have to do in California, and my promise was to straighten out the mess in California."
Besides Schwarzenegger, the American political scene is full of shady characters. Consider the following*:
• President Bill Clinton’s fall from grace with the Monica Lewinski fiasco.
• Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-NY): In 1988 convicted of obstructing justice, tax evasion, conspiracy, extortion, and accepting bribes.
• Rep. Albert Bustamante (D-TX): In 1983 convicted of racketeering and accepting an illegal gratuity.
• Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho):In 2007, Craig had been arrested for lewd conduct in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. Allegations of cocaine use and sex with male teenage congressional pages by unnamed congressmen were pursued by investigators and journalists in 1982, but were eventually dropped.
• Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Accessory to male prostitute who ran a whore house in their Washington townhouse.
• Rep. Gerald Kleczka (D-WI): Convicted of DUI in 1987; arrested for DUI in 1990 and 1995.
• Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL): Illegally converted official funds to his personal use and mail fraud; accused in 1996 of embezzling $700,000 from the federal government, he was charged with 13 of the original 17 counts against him. He went to prison after serving in Congress. He is now back in Washington working as a lobbyist.
• Rep. James Moran (D-VA): Charged with spousal abuse, assault and battery.
• Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL): In 1995 was convicted of having sex with a minor and obstructing justice.
How many decent politicians do we have in America? The minute we find one, and revere him or her, they come crashing down with news of impropriety. Should we hold them to such high standards, or bring them down to the level of the average American--warts and all?
*The list is much longer. Go to www.wwco.com for the full listing.