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Columns

July 13, 2013

Success in politics is just scandalous

(Continued)

“Well, OK,” I said. “I want the five-figure speaking fees, the junkets to exotic places at the public’s expense, to be wined and dined by lobbyists and well … you know ...”

“Ah,” he said, “the women who fawn over politicians?”

“That would be swell,” I replied.

“That’s more like it,” he said, making a mark on the form with his pencil. “Let’s see what we can do for you. For what office would you like to run?

“I dunno,” I said thoughtfully. “I thought I might start small, maybe the U.S. House of Representatives.”

“Fine,” he said before running through a laundry list of questions concerning my work background, education and political affiliations before coming to the final item.

“And what,” he asked, “is your scandal?”

“My scandal? I don’t know what you mean. I haven’t been involved in any scandals.”

The gentleman looked at me like I had just said I didn’t have a nose.

“But surely you absolutely must have a scandal if you expect to get elected to anything these days,” he said with no room for disagreement. “Graft or stealing from funds that feed poor children won’t cut it anymore. A good sex scandal is required.”

“I … I don’t understand,” I said, hoping the room would stop spinning in front of my eyes.

The fellow spoke to me as if to a child.

“Look who’s running for office these days,” he said. “Eliot Spitzer spends 80 grand on hookers, gets caught and resigns as governor of New York. Five years later, he’s running for New York City comptroller, and I wouldn’t bet against him.

“Same thing with Sen. David Vitter in Louisiana. Had a thing for ladies of the evening, says he’s sorry, then gets re-elected with no problems.

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