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Politicians Cheating on their Wives

There are two reasons why the notion of a politician cheating on his wife is a borderline stereotype. First, they are under the watchful eye of the media more regularly, so they are more prone to being caught cheating. Second, the type of men inclined to become politicians tend to be visionaries hungry for power. People with this type of personality usually have a higher need for sexual gratification.

Infidelity Hall of Fame

History is riddled with stories of politicians being caught in a web of infidelity.

One of the most famous of history’s sons, Napoleon Bonaparte, tells the bracing truth with words that simply cannot be altered: “Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard in conquering her to allow anyone to take it from me, or even to covet her.”

Indeed the same view was held by another legend of power - King Henry VIII of England, some 300 years prior, in the 15th century.

A charismatic young man of power and great talent, and with a character that lent itself to egoism, ambition and power, Henry created history when he manipulated the British Parliament and had it legislate the exclusion of the Catholic Church and its teachings. He acquired leadership of the Church of England purely in order to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could pursue his illicit interest in Anne Boleyn.

While contemporary politics is abundant with examples of unfaithful behavior, the male ego is as vital an ingredient in the political arena as it is in any other. A philandering politician suffering from a flailing ego may seek out affairs to feel powerful again. He may also suffer from a sense of entitlement in which he feels he is immune from the same expectations placed on the rest of society.

Ordinary People

For politicians however, unlike the predicament of the ordinary cheating husband, the prospect that his children and extended family will be affected by the wide spread aftermath of his adultery is a very pronounced concern.

Wives of cheating politicians are also obviously included in the public scrutiny. Often if she is seen supporting him publicly, people judge her for having weak personal character. Furthermore, it speaks to the nature of the couple’s relationship if they don't seem too impacted by an illicit affair. However, if bad relationships can deteriorate over the smallest of things, it stands to reason that the converse is true; healthy relationships can withstand the rough sea of public disgrace.

Politicians are merely mortal men. There is no reason to believe that they commits infidelity to a lesser extent or for reasons different than other men. They simply receive more attention.


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The Clintons

In the case of Bill and Hillary Clinton, due to the onerous duties of a U.S. President, the couple spent a mere 14 days each month together. It is no surprise that the couple may have similar interests and both being of a similar ambitious nature. In the Clinton’s case, the lack of marital contact was also perpetuated by Hillary Clinton while she pursued an ambitious legal career.

Yet today they are still one.

Bill Clinton, having endured much disgrace, has humbly supported his wife in her own political aspirations.

It has been said that a man in public office needs to be supported attentively by his spouse in order to perform his duties to the best of his ability. Because of this, in the event of infidelity both parties often receive some degree of blame. But it is important to remember that these are both ordinary people in extraordinary positions. They do not possess skills or resources that are necessarily superior to any other ordinary couple in dealing with infidelity.

Alexander, Stephanie, B.A., author Founder of
Benen, Steve freelance writer
Schlessinger, Laura Dr., The Today Show


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