Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Politics of Sex Scandals

Herman Cain’s presidential ambitions ended amid a torrent of sexual allegations and policy gaffs on Libya. A quick survey of political figures illustrates that not every politician will be ended by an sexual scandal, some of even thrive after their moral escapades hit the front page: see David Vitter of Louisiana.

This led me to consider why some political figures can survive a moral scandal, while others are road kill to be remembered by tabloids and sitcom writers.

Another strategy used out by many political figures is to change the subject. A candidate may survive scandal if he can push the agenda away from the moral issue onto another issue. David Vitter used this out in Louisiana using great personal popularity and coming clean to shift the focus off of him onto something that the voters of Louisiana cared more about.

 Honesty is the third variable. Politicians who “come clean” are generally afforded more utility than dancers like Herman Cain, who often come off as insincere in the face of new events.

Herman Cain failed in all of these arenas and that is why he is most likely a former presidential candidate.

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