"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"
Politicians are our favorite kind of bosses. They have authority and power over a lot of people, and as luck would have it, quite a few of them are really bad. In light of Marion Barry popping up in the news last week for allegedly stalking a female friend, and as Rod Blagojevich continues to deny what we all know to be true, we thought it’d be fitting to compile a list of seven memorable lies politicians have told us. Can you guess which really bad politicians uttered the following whoppers?
1. “I want you to listen to me…I did not have sexual relations with that woman…Ms. Lewinsky”. No guessing games here. The infamous Clinton/Lewinsky dalliances have long been public information, stains and all. What makes Clinton’s denial so infuriating is the vehemence in which he initially denied the accusations. Watch the video here. Then, Clinton famously redefined the term sexual relations. Only a president could get away with that. Which brings me to our next quote…
2. “When the President does it, it means that it is not illegal” – Richard Nixon, discussing Watergate in 1978. From infidelity, to wire tapping to creatively inventing WMDs, presidents are notorious for “bending” the law. Nixon just summed up what many of them secretly believe. President’s are above the law. But presidents aren’t the only politicians to bend the law.
The Lying King - Rod Blagojevich
3. “…those simple values that they teach us in Sunday school, the Golden Rule…those are the things I’m going to keep fighting for…I haven’t let you down.” There are at least two lies in this sentence, and it’s a wonder Rod Blagojevich didn’t get struck by lightning immediately after saying the words “Sunday” and “school” in the same sentence. The foul mouth, helmet headed former Chicago governor uttered those words on his last day in office. He didn’t mention that he actually slept through most of his Sunday school classes or that he wouldn’t know the Golden Rule if it tried to comb his hair. And yes, Blago, you did let us down and probably God too. Speaking of God…
4. “it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in the Bible - who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand” We collectively gave Mark Sanford the side eye for that one, particularly since there’s no mention of David going AWOL in the Bible and then crying at a press conference on his return from Argentina five days later. No mention of David skipping out on Father’s Day either.
5. “The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous…made up” – Former senator and one time presidential candidate John Edwards denying an affair with a campaign assistant. When it became clear that he did have the affair, Edwards gave a contrite interview on ABC, admitting to repeatedly lying about the affair even during his presidential campaign.
6. “…they were misconstruing my actions.” Here’s a hint, he’s got the widest and most inappropriate
The "misconstrued" Larry Craig
bathroom stance in the history of bathroom stances. That would be former Senator Larry Craig. And which actions did the cops misconstrue? It may have been when he hovered around the entrance to the men’s restroom, a well known gay pick up spot. Or did the arresting officer occupying the stall next to him misconstrue his intricate foot tapping, hand swiping routine? I’ve discussed this with several of my male friends, and NONE of them have ever, even accidentally, done any of the things Craig did in that public restroom, much less all of them. Seriously Craig?
7. “Occasional cocaine use” While I couldn’t find the actual quote from Marion Barry, his attorney did admit that Barry was an occasional cocaine user. Because occasional cocaine use is so much more acceptable than crack use, which Barry had been caught on tape engaging in. No worries for him though, because after serving a six month prison sentence, Barry was re-elected as Washington D.C.’s mayor.
In the end, politicians who lie for a living do so because a lot of the time, they get away with it. Sure some lose their positions of power, but many others stay in power and in a few years their trespasses have been forgiven and forgotten. If only the world was as forgiving towards the rest of us.