The White House is the most respected residences in the country, but occupants of the highest office in the land have been known to indulge in amorous extra-marital flings from one administration to the next over the centuries. That can get eyebrows raised among the prudes. The white house staff makes sure those affairs get hushed up so they don’t land in nosy journalists’ hands. Nonetheless, with credit to the more adventurous journalists, they often end up in tabloids with the just the scant details to enhance the president’s sex appeal, fuel a scandal, or invite a senate investigation. But isn’t it romantic that a president is willing to risk scandalizing the nation just to have his moment of sexual fantasies satisfied?
Famous cheating presidents
Most people believe that White House occupants cheat on their first ladies whenever they can. But keeping their extramarital flings above the press, some presidents are more successful than others. Among the nation’s presidents since declaring independence from Britain in 1776, only seven had left their mark as a ladies’ man – Thomas Jefferson, Games Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding, F.D. Roosevelt, J.F. Kennedy, L.B. Johnson and Bill Clinton.
The most scandalous sex affair was the Clinton-Lewinsky affair that not only shamed the White House but also pushed the President to become the first US president to be impeached in the House of Representative in 1998 and just getting acquitted in the Senate. The 22-year old Monica Lewinsky disclosed having had sex encounter with Clinton in nine separate occasions What sensationalized something the trivial a sex fling was that it was not reported in a tabloid, but in the highly reputable Washington Post in January 1998. Needless to say, the White House issued swift and strong denials until the damning evidence simply forced Clinton to admit an illicit relationship in August of that year. Clinton may have diminished the prestige of his incumbency, but it certainly enhanced his macho image with women who like their men promiscuous.
Without a doubt, the most celebrated was none other than the JFK-Marilyn Monroe affair. Here were two celebrities – the sexy Hollywood star at that time and the youngest serving President – that ignited the imagination of the gossip lovers everywhere. The affair didn’t cause any scandal during JFK’s term of office and made tabloid headlines years after his assassination, shocking the nation that a president could cheat on his lovely wife considered the most elegant First Lady the nation ever had with Jacqueline Kennedy. For sure, it can be said that JFK had good taste in women and confirmed his place among presidents with oozing sex appeal. The affair has been confirmed in several biographies such as that J. Edgar Hoover as authored by Anthony Sommers, and actor Peter Lawford, penned by his wife Patricia. A self-confessed JFK mistress Judith Exner also wrote about it in her 1977 autobiography. Monroe had wanted to marry JFK as early as 1960 and was said to have turned her affection to his brother Robert who was known to have visited her on the day she died in 1962, thus fueling some conspiracy gossips on top of the love quadrangle.
Why Presidents cheat on their First Ladies
With few exceptions, just about every man cheats on his wife at some point in their conjugal relationship. If the salesman can do it, so does the corporate CEO and if the CEO does it with impunity so does the leader of the country. For the president, nothing is impossible, at least not with his sex life. The age-old maxim remains in force: “What are we in power for?” With it, not even the Pope or Billy Graham can stem the hormones from gushing forth on a man approaching or past mid-life crisis.
The buck stops at the oval office and the president must deal with local and global issues that can render an ordinary mortal shocked and awed every hour of the day. The presidency is fraught with so much stress that releasing the tension can best be served by people whose charms put them in the best position to ease the tension and strain. Presidents are exactly within that age range around what is called mid-life crises when men love nothing more than to re-assert their masculinity and appeal to the ladies. And what better time to do so when in power? Indeed, at a time when their post-menopausal wives prefer to tend read novels in bed while wearing a facial mask and curlers that turn off their tired husbands, it is no surprise that a man, no matter how high his social and political stature is, will find the time and opportunity to use some of his power to satisfy his love life.
The Zippergate or what the Clinton-Lewinsky affair was dubbed is not the last and is just a mishandled episode in the amorous traditions of what it means to be in power. . Positions of high repute are not immune to scandals that while debasing the office, often have the effect of enriching the sex appeal of participants. If anything, it certainly taught a lesson to White House staff on being more circumspect when their boss is having an affair. The president is not an angel, but given two evils – being incompetent in office, or cheating on the First Lady, it is not a question of which is the lesser of evil that can land on the broadsheets. It’s about keeping any kind of evil in check and not making the news.