Being a politician means that your private life will fall under public scrutiny. Our culture loves watching famous people getting caught with their pants down. While it is possible that a good politician will occasionally make a terrible husband, it’s also true that being a good husband doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be an effective politician. Richard Nixon was faithful to his wife for 53 years but he certainly didn’t deserve to be trusted in the Oval Office. While we might not all agree that the following men were great politicians, we definitely doubt their abilities to be good husbands.
11. Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky is probably the most memorable thing that he accomplished during his two terms as President. While he did lead the country during the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history, he also lied to the American public about his affair with a 22-year-old White House employee.
Despite everything, his popularity ratings when he left office are amongst the highest any President has ever received. Even Hilary Clinton stood by her husband during the entire scandal, suggesting that the affair was a result of the abusive relationship Bill Clinton had with his mother. Clinton still enjoys delivering speeches that earn him hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it’s doubtful he provides anyone with advice on how to be a perfect husband.
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR was one of America’s truly great Presidents. Roosevelt took office in 1933, and formed a series of domestic programs known as the New Deal, which allowed America to escape the Great Depression. In 1941, Roosevelt declared war on the Axis powers and implemented a strategy that would ultimately defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. While he was a remarkable President, he was not a great husband to his wife Eleanor.
Eleanor hired Lucy Mercer to be her social secretary in 1914 and Franklin D. Roosevelt started an affair with the newly hired secretary shortly afterwards. Franklin thought about divorcing Eleanor, but Lucy wouldn’t marry a man with five children. Eleanor made FDR promise to stop seeing Mercer, but the promise was quickly broken. The marriage became a loveless political partnership. When FDR died in 1945, Mercer was at his side while lonely Eleanor was living in NYC.
9. John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is the youngest man to be elected the President of America. Kennedy created the Peace Corps, took positive steps to creating new civil rights legislation and inspired the space race to the moon. At his Inaugural Address he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” It turns out that he was also asking countless woman what they could do for their President.
Kennedy had numerous affairs. He slept with actresses Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson and Gene Tierney. He took young White House staff on “business trips” around the world. Strippers, German prostitutes, communist spies and attractive socialites all found their way in between the sheets with this poorly behaved husband. Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline, must have known about all of this. She also must have really loved him to put up with it.
8. Lyndon Baines Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was President from 1963 to 1969, after the assassination of JFK. Although he was much better than JFK at hiding his extramarital affairs, LBJ had a prolific collection of young woman to satisfy his sexual appetite. He was also competitive about his womanizing. Reportedly, after someone mentioned Kennedy’s sexual affairs, Johnson said, “I had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose!” I wonder how his wife, Lady Bird Taylor, felt about all of this.
It is believed that his affair with Madeline Brown was almost like a second marriage. Brown became pregnant in 1950 and gave birth to a son named Steven. She claimed that Johnson provided financial assistance for her and Steven even after he became President. The affair reportedly lasted for 21 years. Whether or not Steven was Johnson’s son, LBJ was still a cheating and disloyal husband.
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger became a celebrity in the early 1980s after starring in Conan the Barbarian and the original Terminator movie. He became Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and won the Mr. Olympia contest seven times. Schwarzenegger also served two terms as the Governor of California from 2003 until 2011. Arnold, who drives a hydrogen powered Hummer, signed the nation’s first bill that limits greenhouse gas emissions.
Schwarzenegger married television journalist Maria Shriver, the niece of President John F. Kennedy, in 1986. Their youngest child was born on September 27, 1997. Five days later, household employee, Mildred Baena, gave birth to a child of her own. Almost 14 years later it became known that both children belonged to Arnold. Maria Shriver legally separated from Schwarzenegger almost immediately after she learned about the affair. Arnold regrets his mistakes and acknowledges that being a terrible husband has destroyed his home.
6. Danny Lee Burton
Danny Lee Burton is a Tea Party Republican who served as the U.S Representative for Indiana’s 5th congressional district from 1983 to 2013. He was an anti-Clinton, pro-Pakistan and anti-vaccine politician with a stomach for his own hypocrisy. In 1995, when Bill Clinton’s affair was coming to light, Burton said, “No one, regardless of what party they serve, no one, regardless of what branch of government they serve, should be allowed to get away with these alleged sexual improprieties.”
It turns out that only other people’s improprieties are unforgivable. In 1998 Vanity Fair published an article about Burton’s child producing affair in 1983 with a former state employee. Burton’s first wife, Barbara Burton, was being treated for cancer at the time. Barbara died in 2002. In 2006, Burton married the nurse who provided care for his dying wife. Respectable husbands typically don’t marry their dead wife’s nurse.
5. Rudy Giuliani
Giuliani served as mayor of New York City from 1994 through 2001. In 1997, his approval rating reached an all time high of 68 percent. New Yorkers certainly felt that Giuliani was doing a decent job of cleaning up the city and reducing crime. What they didn’t know was that Giuliani was a serial bad husband.
Giuliani and Regina Peruggi, who are second cousins, enjoyed 14 years of marriage before Rudy began an affair with Donna Hanover in 1982. The Catholic Church was more than happy to have the marriage annulled, and Donna Hanover became wife number two. In 1999, Giuliani began an affair with Judith Nathan. To hide the relationship from the public, and his wife, Giuliani used the NYPD as his personal taxi and charged the expenses to obscure city agencies. Nathan and Giuliani have been married since 2003. It seems wife number four is right around the corner.
4. Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy Gingrich enjoyed two decades as an active politician. In 1995, Newt was named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” for leading the Republican Revolution and being elected Speaker of the House. He is known for being a self-righteous advocate for Christian family values and a hypocrite.
Gingrich started an affair in 1981, while his first wife, Jackie Battley, was dying of cancer. Gingrich reportedly told his campaign treasurer, “She’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.” In 1993, while married to his second wife Marianne Ginther, Newt began an affair with Callista Bisek. Newt and Marianne divorced in 2000 and Gingrich married Callista, who is 23 years his junior. In 2012 the American public decided that he wasn’t an attractive Presidential candidate. He’s not husband of the year material either.
3. Bob Packwood
Bob Packwood enjoyed a celebrated career as a politician from 1969 to 1995. He is remembered for developing a new tax code that took from wealthy businesses and gave back to the average American. Feminist groups adored him for his pro-choice stance on abortion in the 1980s. Unfortunately, he was also sexual predator who enjoyed pursuing almost anyone who wasn’t his wife.
Packwood managed to sexually assault and abuse at least 10 women while he was married to Georgie Oberteuffer. In 1992, Packwood’s subpoenaed diary revealed that his sexual behavior wasn’t just disgusting but also criminal. When the public became aware of the allegations Packwood checked into a clinic for alcoholism, claiming that the harassment was a result of his drinking. This convinced the public that he wasn’t just a lousy husband and a filthy man but that he was also a drunk. Packwood was forced to resign in 1995.
2. Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is a British politician who has served as Mayor of London since 2008. The entertaining, unconventional, and often humorous Johnson enjoys a tremendous amount of popularity in the face of political controversy and criticism. Biographer Sonia Purnell describes him as a “human laundry-basket,” who “has a habit of forgetting to shower.” Others call him a racist, a homophobe, and a dishonest husband.
After his first marriage dissolved in 1993 he married Marina Wheeler. He’s been on the dating scene ever since. In 2004, Boris admitted to a four-year affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt, who aborted a resulting pregnancy. In 2009, Boris had another affair with Helen Macintyre, which produced a daughter. Having numerous affairs and producing illegitimate children would end most politicians’ careers, but Boris is an impossible man to hurt. Boris insists that his private mischief is irrelevant to the job that he does.
1. John Edwards
In 1998, after a couple of successful decades practicing law, John Edwards won an election to the U.S. Senate. During his time as a Senator he fought against mandatory minimum sentences and spearheaded the first anti-spyware legislation. As a presidential candidate, he pledged to eliminate poverty, fight global warming and withdraw the troops from Iraq.
In 2004, Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, announced that she was battling breast cancer. Shortly afterwards, John Edwards invited Rielle Hunter to become his mistress. In January of 2010, Edwards admitted to the affair and to being the father of Hunter’s child. Elizabeth died in December 2010, a few months before her husband was charged with stealing $1 million from his campaign to hide his affair. While the Justice Department dropped all criminal charges, the American public charged Edwards with being a terrible husband and, after a lengthy public trial, he was found guilty.