Politics, and Scandal, as Usual

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By now, many of the more publicized escapades have become embedded in political lore, from President Clinton encounters with Monica Lewinsky to Sen. Bob Packwood and his unwanted advances on women to Rep. Mark Foley and his lewd e-mails to House pages.

Who can forget the late Wilbur D. Mills, the one-time powerful head of the House Ways and Means committee, and his dalliances back in 1975 with the stripper Fanne Foxe? She’s the one who barreled out of Mr. Mills’s car and waded into the Tidal Basin in Washington when the park police stopped them. Enterprisingly, she went and changed her name from the Argentine Firecracker to the Tidal Basin Bombshell, and got a book out of her adventures.

There was, as well, Rep. Gary Condit, whose career imploded when it came out that he had been involved with Chandra Levy, an intern who was murdered. And Wayne Hays, the Ohio Representative, who quit in 1976 after it was revealed that the job requirements of Elizabeth Ray were less as a secretary than as his mistress. In her famous words: “I can’t type. I can’t file. I can’t even answer the phone.”

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