There have been whispers, over the last week, that cock shot-tweeting former Rep. Anthony Weiner might be eyeing a return to politics. Apparently his PR people are trying to position him as a great dad and reformed husband, but will that be enough? How hard is it to come back after turfing out that spectacularly? Let’s take a look at five other political people who came back after a sex scandal, to see if there’s anything useful in their experience. Anthony, I know you read my stuff. Pay attention.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Scandal: Accused in 2003 of sexually harassing tons of women over a 25-year period.
How He Recovered: Shrugged it off and moved on. People hated Gray Davis so much that nobody even really paid attention. After his second sex scandal broke and everyone found out about the secret family he had with one of his employees, he shrugged that off and went back to acting.
Takeaway for Weiner: Perhaps if he can position himself in opposition to someone as loathed as Gray Davis he’d have a shot. Spitzer?
2. Barney Frank
The Scandal: Hired a guy, Steve Gobie, for sex, who he ended up befriending and allowing to move in with him. Gobie proceeded to secretly run an escort service out of Frank’s house. He also hired the Gobie as an aide and fixed a bunch of his parking tickets. After Frank got wind of the escort service and kicked him out, Gobie went book agents and TV networks trying to sell his story. It was THEN that House Ethics Committee decided to investigate. Oh and PS, Frank was still closeted at this point.
How He Recovered: The committee cleared him of everything but the parking tickets, and he went on to whomp his opponent in the next election cycle. He was just really likable and good at his job.
Takeaway for Weiner: Shoulda hung in there!!! But it goes to show that if you govern well, people can get past your scandal, however sensational it is.
3. Newt Gingrich
The Scandal: Got caught having an affair with an intern (this was when he was with his second wife) while impeaching Clinton for same. Though he resigned from the House, he has continued to be a weasely, awful voice from the right, influencing policy and eventually running for the Republican presidential nomination this year.
How He Recovered: He has the tenacity of a cockroach and the willingness to spew whatever vile garbage will get him noticed by the GOP overlords.
Takeaway for Weiner: You’re better than that, man. Don’t do that.
4. Rudy Giuliani
The Scandal: Got caught cheating on his second wife with the woman who would become his third. Announced his separation from second wife without telling her he was going to.
How He Recovered: Police brutality and 9/11? J/k kind of but not really?
Takeaway for Weiner: The position of “America’s Congressional Representative” is still available, as far as I know, but let’s all hope there is never a tragedy that requires its use.
5. Bill Clinton
The Scandal: Oh come on, we all know. God, are there really people young enough that a cigar and a blue dress don’t mean anything to them?
How He Recovered: Bill Clinton don’t give a fuuuuuuck. Nothing can touch that guy.
Takeaway from Weiner: Sorry, bro, Bill is sui generis. He could tweet a picture of his erect penis to Ban Ki-moon and people would just be like “Bill!”