More and more these days, politicians appear to be straying from their marriages — but, unlike in the old days where a short public acknowledgment wasn't de rigueur, today's straying politicians are obligated to old press conferences to explain themselves.
Sometimes, they are accompanied by their wives; other times, the cheese stands alone. Here are the 10 best recent press conferences featuring adulterous politicians, and why they were awesome.
1. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
He cried, he apologized to his kids, his wife, the state, his best friend and his in-laws. He then proceeded to give a play-by-play of the entire romance, including when he started sleeping with her.
Bonus points: In an effort to avoid using his mistress's name, Sanford went for much of the press conference without using a gender specific pronoun, causing many people to speculate that he was gay.
2. New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey
"I am a Gay American." What more can you say?
Bonus points: For doping his hysterical wife up so she smiled the entire time.
3. Idaho Senator Larry Craig
After having pled guilty to soliciting a man for foot-tapping bathroom sex, Larry Craig pulled a Shaggy at his press conference.
Bonus points: Even his wife gave him the "WTF?" look during his press conference.
4. Louisiana Senator David Vitter
David Vitter totally didn't pay a prostitute to change his diapers, yo.
Bonus points: He did let his wife take over the press conference that he called to respond to allegations that he'd utilized an escort service.
5. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer called a press conference to admit that while prosecuting escort services, he wasn't working for his constituents as much as helping eliminate the competition to his escort service of choice. He did have the good sense to resign, though.
Bonus points: No one knows if his balls survived intact long after he and his wife left the podium. From her look, we're guessing not so much.
6. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards
Appearing alone in a TV interview, Edwards attempted to flirt with interviewer Bob Woodruff, smiled and seemed less than entirely shameful about his conduct, which is the whole point of holding one of these.
7. President Bill Clinton
He totally did have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. And he totally did look like a little kid caught red-handed.
8. New York Governor David Paterson
Paterson confessed to mutual marital infidelity, earning him his look from his wife. He also admitted to conducting it in a Quality Inn.
9. Nevada Senator John Ensign
For all that Ensign's affair involves a campaign staffer married to one of Ensign's own Senate staffers while Ensign was separated and allegations of blackmail, his actual confession was a snore-fest.
10: Speaker-Elect and Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston
Having spent months inveighing against Bill Clinton's infidelities and how they made him unfit for office, Livingston confessed to all House Republicans that he, too, was a cheat. He was then replaced by notorious philanderer, Newt Gingrich. But it's no fun until someone cries.