Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Community News Network

February 20, 2014

Sex isn't the political killer it used to be

WASHINGTON — Traffic is the new sex.

Stick with me. Sen. David Vitter, who recently announced that he is running for governor of Louisiana in 2015, is ahead in a recent poll. You may recall Vitter's apology in 2007 after his phone number surfaced during an investigation of the prostitution ring run by the notorious "D.C. Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who later committed suicide. The details of his dalliances involved infant wear. He said he committed "a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible."

His lead in the polls is in keeping with other comebacks by officials caught in sexual scandals. After his own prostitution scandal, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer got a television show and ran a creditable race for New York City comptroller.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford survived trying to cover up his infidelity with a tall tale about hiking the Appalachian Trail and returned to Congress. Bill Clinton, who was impeached for his transgressions, left office with a 68 percent approval rating, and his wife is the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Compare that with the fate of politicians involved in traffic scandals. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the subject of multiple investigations for the epic gridlock on the George Washington Bridge. His non-best friend from high school, David Wildstein, whom he appointed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is singing like a bird. Kentucky Sen. Paul Rand is pursuing questions about how federal funds for Superstorm Sandy were spent, and several mayors are anxious to tell him. Even Christie's idol, Bruce Springsteen, mocked him on late-night television. Just 35 percent of Americans see the governor favorably, down from 52 percent in a Gallup poll in June. He's gone from a 32 point net positive rating last summer to a 5 point net negative now. Before Bridgegate, he topped many of the polls about potential Republican presidential candidates. A Washington Post/ABC poll puts him in third place now, with the support ojust 13 percent of Republicans, behind Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia also has seen voters tap the brakes over his traffic record. Deal was a shoo- in for re-election in his Republican-leaning state until "Snowjam '14" (it's never good for a catastrophe to get a name) created a crushing traffic jam on the interstate. Deal was missing in action as the snow began to pile up, and he initially blamed poor weather forecasting for the failure to clear roads or stagger closings so that everyone wasn't hitting the freeway at the same time.

The overnight crisis - a baby was born on the interstate, people were trapped overnight in their cars while their children slept at school - attracted national attention. On NBC, Al Roker scolded Deal for calling the storm a surprise when all he needed to do was turn on the TV to find out it was headed his way. Late-night host Jay Leno joked, "Drivers were stranded, traffic was at a standstill for 12 hours, and everyone was asking the same question: 'What did we do to piss off Chris Christie?'"

Now it's the people of Georgia who are ticked off at Deal, who was lunching with the mayor of Atlanta when both should have been glued to the Weather Channel. A survey showed 1 out of 3 people blamed Deal, not Mother Nature, for the traffic nightmare. In a statewide poll, 57 percent of Republicans rated Deal poor to fair.

According to Public Policy Polling, while Deal still holds a lead over his likely opponents who haven't yet begun to advertise, including State Sen. Jason Carter (yes, grandson of), only 36 percent of voters approve of Deal and 41 percent disapprove, a terrible place for an incumbent to be.

He would have been better off having lunch with a hooker. Just ask Senator Vitter.

  

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014